Nailing the tone of a dark comedy horror can be difficult, but it’s something Some Like It Rare excels at. Directed by Fabrice Eboué, who also stars, from a screenplay by Eboué and Vincent Solignac, Some Like It Rare, a French film originally called Barbaque, is the kind of film that leans into its outrageous plot with no holds barred. While the film tends to get repetitive and its comedy doesn’t delve any deeper than it has to, Some Like It Rare is entertaining and darkly funny.
Vincent (Fabrice Eboué) and Sophie (Marina Foïs) run a butcher shop that isn’t doing so well. Their marriage isn’t really working anymore, either, and they have to suffer through dinners with their friends/competition, Stéphanie and Marc Brachard (Virginie Hocq and Jean-François Cayrey), who run their own butcher shop chains and live in luxury. When a group of vegans trash their shop one day, Vincent and Sophie run over one of the guys, cutting him into parts and selling it as pork to their customers. When they realize what a hit human flesh is with people, they decide to start hunting vegans. Selling human meat proves lucrative, with Sophie and Vincent suddenly getting their lives back on track. But at what cost?
Some Like It Rare is a dark horror comedy that is as gruesome as it is ferociously funny. Some of the best bits from the film are the back-and-forth conversations between Vincent and Sophie, whose marriage isn’t exactly what it used to be but whose adventures in hunting vegans brings them together. Sophie is strangely turned on by Vincent going after vegans, taking pleasure in his attempts to finally step up in a way she has been wanting for a while. Vincent, meanwhile, relishes in the idea of being successful enough to one-up their millionaire butcher rivals and friends. Foïs and Eboué’s chemistry is fantastic and their discussions surrounding the staging of their characters’ next kills consist of some of the darkest and most comical moments in the film.
Some Like It Rare mocks meat eaters and vegans alike, though it positions the former as the heartless killers who will do anything to keep their business going, humans be damned. Vegans, on the other hand, seem extreme only to those who aren’t willing to give up what they love and know in terms of their gastronomy and business models. The film positions its characters as being unapologetic about their behavior; their absurdity, along with their offensive moments become all the more uncomfortably funny. The film doesn’t set itself up as a pillar of morality. Rather, the dark comedy takes shots at the meat industry, but most of the film works precisely because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. While Sophie and Vincent don’t directly ponder what it is they’re doing, their actions are left to be judged by viewers.
The cast’s performances are great, with Eboué and Foïs excelling comedically. Every line, be it dry, condescending, or ridiculous is delivered with fantastic comedic timing. The pair nail the detachment of their characters, while showcasing the dark humor that stems from their obsession, which brings back the spark in their lives. The film doesn’t hold back on the absurdity and neither do Eboué and Foïs in their portrayals of an unhinged couple. As Vincent and Sophie carry on pretending they’re vegans to search out potential prey, there is a sense that their pursuits can only last so long before they’re caught.
To that end, the couple’s hunting montages become repetitive and a bit tedious as the audience waits for the other shoe to drop. It’s entertaining to watch them work because it’s when the film is at its most ridiculous, but it does wear off after a while, going on for longer than need be with no real character development in the interim. What’s more, the commentary could have been a lot more biting, with Some Like It Rare barely digging past the surface, content to wade in the shallow end of the pool without getting too deep. Despite these speed bumps, the comedy is entertaining and viewers will more than likely laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
Some Like It Rare played during Fantastic Fest 2022. The film will open exclusively at Alamo Drafthouse cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles on October 7 and on demand October 14. It is 87 minutes long and is not rated.