Diary of a Nymphomaniac
Diario de una ninfómana (Diary of a Nymphomaniac) is a 2008 Spanish erotic drama directed by Christian Molina and starring Belén Fabra and Leonardo Sbaraglia. It is based on Insatiable - The Sexual Adventures of a French Girl in Spain, the best-selling memoir of French author Valérie Tasso. It is unrelated to the French erotic drama Le journal intime d'une nymphomane ("The intimate diary of a nymphomaniac"). In the United States and the United Kingdom the film was released under the title Insatiable – Diary of a Sex Addict.
|Diary of a Nymphomaniac|
|Directed by||Christian Molina|
|Produced by||Mariví de Villanueva|
|Written by||Cuca Canals|
|Based on||Insatiable - The Sexual Adventures of a French Girl in Spain|
by Valérie Tasso
|Music by||Roque Baños|
|Edited by||Luis de la Madrid|
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The movie is about Val (Belén Fabra), a young, middle-class woman with a strong desire for sex. She recalls that she lost her virginity when she was 15 with her classmate, Edouard. Even though she didn't feel anything in her first time, she wanted to have sex again and asks Edouard to have sex with her another hundred times. Afterwards, she continues to have several sexual partners including Alex and Hassan. She continues to have sexual relationships with Alex knowing that he has a girlfriend. Tired of Val's voracious sexual appetite, Alex asks her, "Are you always thinking about sex?" and breaks off with her angrily after a night of wild love making. Val is deeply affected by not having anyone to have sex with. So, she goes to a train station, finds a stranger and has sex with him in the empty station.
Val is also disturbed by her excessive sexual appetite and feels that she's not a normal woman. She discusses her sexual life openly with her grandmother who encourages her to do what she loves to do. She also encourages Val to keep a diary of her life as it helps to get a clarity of thoughts. Val asks her grandmother about her sexual life. Her grandmother replies that in those days, you were either somebody's wife or a prostitute and she had no other choice other than marrying Val's grandfather and complains that she was never satisfied by him in bed. When Val asks her if she was given another chance, she would choose to marry him again and her grandmother replies, "hell, no, I'd go on finding as many sexual partners as I can".
Val works in marketing department for a firm in Barcelona and when her old friend, Hassan, visits Barcelona, she quits work early and meets him in her house. They have a wild night having sex, trying different things and Val shows up late for work the following day. Val's friend and co-worker, Sonia, warns her to be careful as they do restructuring in her company and she could get fired for showing up late for work. While Sonia, (Llum Barrera) is interested in finding the right man to get married, have children and start her family, Val is more interested in finding new sexual partners and continues to live a free spirited life.
Very soon, Val gets fired from her job and attends a couple of interviews. In the second interview, the interviewer, Jaime, (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is very much attracted to Val and asks her out. She immediately accepts. Jaime drives a Jaguar, seems to be a very successful director-general of a company and seems to be very busy. Val likes him and wants to marry him and against her usual self, chooses not to sleep with him after the first date. Jaime immediately buys an expensive home for them to live though Val is worried about his extravagant lifestyle. Val discusses with Sonia about Jaime and Sonia asks about Jaime being older for her as Val is only 29 and Jaime has a couple of grown up children. But, Val is so into Jaime and doesn't take these things seriously. In the meantime, Val visits her grandmother who is ill and during her visit, her grandmother dies, but before her death, she reminds Val to live her life. "The term, nymphomaniac was invented by men to control women", she tells her granddaughter.
Val and Jaime move in and start to live together. When they sleep together for the first time, Jaime is finished in two seconds and even though Val is very disappointed about Jaime's performance in bed, she doesn't take it seriously. She tells Sonia that it's all about love and not sex. When Hassan visits Barcelona again and wants to see Val, she refuses to sleep with him and tells him that she has been taken. She also gets a job from her first interview and starts working. However, soon Val realizes that Jaime is bipolar. Some times, he acts very affectionately towards her and other times, he abuses her. Once Jaime enters into her office unannounced and accuses her boss of sleeping with his wife. The next day, he apologizes to Val and asks for forgiveness. But, another day, he brings a prostitute to their house and asks Val to join them. He doesn't even have money to pay for the prostitute and Val ends up paying. Val decides that she can't live with him anymore and decides to move out of their house. When Sonia and Val are preparing her stuff to leave, Jaime shows up and threatens to assault her. They manage to leave and go to Sonia's house.
One day, Sonia realizes that Val left her house without informing her and so, Sonia tracks her down to a small and somewhat broken-down apartment. Having lost all her savings to pay for Jaime's extravagant lifestyle and without a job, Val feels depressed and tries to jump down from her apartment to take her own life, but, somehow decides not to commit suicide. Desperate for a job and money, Val decides to work for a brothel as a prostitute. In the brothel, the madam controls all the women working for her. There Val meets a Brazilian woman, Cindy, who works for the same brothel and they become close. Cindy tells Val that her son is the most important thing for her in this world and he lives with her mom in Brazil as she doesn't want him to grow up with his father.
Val starts to enjoy her work and soon gets her regular customers including Pedro and an Italian, named Giovanni. She falls in love with Giovanni and he gives her his ring as a reminder that he would come see her again. When he books her again, Val gets excited, but, when she goes to see his hotel suite, he has decided to give her to his friend. Val is once again deeply disappointed by another man. Pedro, her another customer, keeps on telling her that he loves her and wants to marry her. But, he tries to control her by his money and asks her to do things that she doesn't want to do and when they have sex, he hurts her physically. Without bothering to collect her money, Val runs away from his hotel suite. When she returns to the brothel the following day, Cindy kills herself by jumping out from a window.
Val starts to evaluate her life and asks herself if this is what she wants to do. She quickly decides this is not her life and informs the madam that she wants to leave the brothel. Though the madam tries to convince her to stay and then, abuses her and threatens her, Val is determined and leaves the brothel.
During rain, she goes to Sonia's house where she meets Sonia, happily married to a guy and informs her that she has left the brothel. Sonia is very happy for Val. When Val returns to her apartment, she sees a guy living in her apartment building who she noticed peeping on her earlier. She asks him if he wants to go to her place. He replies that he doesn't have any money for which she says, 'That's okay, it's not necessary,' indicating that she has resorted to her old way of free-spirited living.
The movie received mixed reviews. Jay Seaver of eFilmCritic.com wrote: "...while I still think it hangs around those [art-porn] stereotypes enough to be somewhat hurt by them, I did find the film improving in my mind as I reflected on it".
Nathan Southern wrote for TV Guide: "Though competently acted, well scored, and lushly photographed...Christian Molina’s...erotic drama...represents an ugly and pretentious blight on the face of its chosen subgenre".
Jonathan Henderson of Cinelogue stated: "[T]he film...in its heavy-handed crudeness...plays out like a typical, manipulative melodrama. ...Another element that plagues the film is its unrealistic depictions of misogynistic men. [It] is marked by an overtly formulaic script, which too neatly follows the three-act structure with a pattern of introduction, elation, conflict, descent and recovery. The film’s pacing problems are exacerbated by a profusion of abbreviated, deficient scenes which interrupt the flow of the narrative. [Belén] Fabra’s performance during [her] emotional scenes is nearly strong enough to make me forget about the manipulative mawkishness behind them".
- Diary of a Nymphomaniac at the Internet Movie Database
- Variety magazine referred to the book as being part of a "posh porn" publishing trend
- Le journal intime d'une nymphomane in the Internet Movie Database
- Amazon USA release
- Amazon UK release
- From the description of the book at Amazon USA
- "Diary of a Nymphomaniac", www.efilmcritic.com. Retrieved 18 April 2013
- Nathan Southern
- Review in TV Guide
- Jonathan Henderson Review at Cinelogue.com