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Le bijou d’amour (1978)

Alternate Titles
Mon bijou d’amour

A cursed ring of Casanova passed onto unsuspecting lovers of Succubi, has to be passed on to others within 5 days or beware the consequences.

A supernatural sex comedy in which Adrien, who works at a paranormal radio show, is assigned by his lover Claire, the producer, to find something new to report on after she fires the main presenter. So he drives off into the French countryside to investigate succubi, and immediately encounters a woman who offers to sell him her ruby ring for 500 francs in return for some unenthusiastic sex on the grass. He accepts the deal, and then finds that the ring makes him irresistible to women. Claire does some research and tells him that the problem is that the ring will double in value every day, making it increasingly difficult to sell on. So does that mean that it was only worth one franc nine days ago, or does its price reset with each new owner? And surely if he can hang onto it for nearly a fortnight, the right buyer would make him a francs millionaire? But don’t worry about that, because the whole value aspect is never remarked upon again. And I suppose that’s because Adrien gets somewhat preoccupied.

While it initially seems that the ring might have made him a male succubus, it becomes evident that it’s more of a curse, making him a target for all the succubi in the area, who proceed to drain his energy via the medium of hallucinatory sex that causes him to have cave-based fantasies. It’s all very silly, but the road movie nature of the film means that he meets a fun array of strange people, and only briefly threatens to become stale when he reaches his destination: a succubus expert who lives with four horny ladies. Even then, his attempts to fend them off by covering the ring with a driving glove means that the movie remains strangely funny.

I enjoyed the music that keeps switching between jaunty jazz that wouldn’t sound out of place in a British “Confessions of…” sex comedy of the era, and a parodic horror-style motif whenever a succubus touches the rubies. Talking of touching, despite Letterboxd’s adult tag, this is only borderline hardcore*, with Adrien’s cock staying resolutely soft throughout his sex scenes, but some fairly graphic shots of women wanking at him. All of which emphasises how stupid this is, and as something of a fan of those Confessions movies, it’s entertaining to see our supposedly sophisticated French cousins’ only slightly more esoteric approach to the form. Confessions of a Paranormal Journalist, anyone? Where’s the Robin Askwith remake?

* Weirdly, the Blu-ray includes a brief hardcore shot in an alternative version of one scene, and I don’t understand why this film would only have one alternative hardcore scene when the rest of it is soft-cocked. Maybe the actor just couldn’t get it up at any other point.

Brigitte Lahaie brief opening scene
Céline Gallone as Dominique Gallone
Danièle Troeger