Cat Lovers Hissing over "Anti-Amelie" Film
French cat-lovers are having a hissy fit over a new movie poster that features an actress dumping a cat in a dustbin. In "Vilaine," the protagonist, Mlanie Lupin -- a young single woman -- tries hard to be nice to everyone, but realizes that approach isn't getting her anywhere in the world of romance, so then sets out to be rude. Great plot, eh? I guess this includes dumping cats in the trash.
The film is described by its producers as the opposite of Amlie, the popular 2001 Audrey Tautou film. In the Vilaine movie poster, Mlanie, played by Marilou Berry, is depicted holding a live cat by the scruff of its neck over a trash bin. The Society for the Protection of Animals in France (SPA) has received so many complaints about the ad that it released a statement describing its shock at the image: "While the SPA does not doubt the integrity of Marilou Berry and the production team who have clearly not mistreated any animals, we feel it is clear the producers of Vilaine are not aware of the impact this image may have on a fragile general public."
The statement goes on to point out the "nightmarish" effect the image may have on children who have cats and that the public may find it amusing to imitate the actress.
Actress Marilou Berry thanked the SPA. "The poster was put on their website, which created a buzz. The trailer has had 250,000 hits. As for the cat in the advert, there were two of them and they are both fine I know because I adopted them."