27 May 2010 | MartinHafer
"Paroles et Musique" is an incredibly weak film and my score of 3 is perhaps a bit higher than it deserves--even with Catheerine Deneuve in the lead. There are many reasons not to bother with this film--I'll explain them below. But first, a brief outline of the plot. The film begins with Deneuve's husband leaving her and their two kids. What led up to this is uncertain, but he apparently left the country to 'find himself'--whatever that means. After a few months of being very lonely, she begins a VERY brief affair with an amazingly poor musician (Christopher Lambert). As for Lambert, he and his musical partner seem to be bisexuals (though this is not 100% clear--but very, very, very strongly implied) and both decide in this film to explore relationships with women instead of each other and their musical partnership is tested. In the end, the music is what is important and despite some disappointments in love, they'll always have their music together.
This film is one of the least romantic romances I've ever seen. There's practically no chemistry between the two leads and it defies logic that Lambert's character becomes so whiny and stricken with love for her considering they barely know each other. He can't sing, he can't write his music--all he can do is whine and mope about--now THAT'S a great character! And, considering that she IS married and her kids would like nothing more than to see their parents reunited, you can't exactly root for Lambert--especially since their 'love' seems to be mostly glandular. As for Lambert's partner, he, too, has an affair with a married woman--nice guys, eh?! I don't know about you, but guys sleeping with married ladies is NOT what I call romance! The second major problem is that Lambert and his partner are supposed to be wonderful musicians. While both can sing, their voices are incredibly weak and wimpy (like their characters) and their becoming a success seems silly--even in the dismal world of 1980s pop music! It just isn't believable.
The final problem is the ending. Despite the relationship between Deneuve and Lambert being so incredibly brief and obviously doomed, Lambert behaves like an idiot. You feel like yelling 'be a man, you wet noodle' as he stops working and is about to give up his career. And he would have if Deneuve's character had wanted him! Not exactly a tower of strength and manliness! Overall, this is a musical romance with terrible music and poor romance. Despite my loving French films, this is one that is practically impossible to love and I can easily see why, so far, no one else has bothered reviewing it! Soggy and unappealing.