14 September 2005 | kinsayder
Enjoyable minor French comedy
The character of Didier, whose troubles all begin when he gives a bad review of a film he hasn't seen, was apparently based on a real-life critic who made a similarly lazy judgement about Emir Kusturica's "Undergound". From this starting point, Pascal Bonitzer gives us a humorous portrait of a superficial, middle-class writer who is about to reap the consequences of his intellectual and emotional dysfunctions.
Fabrice Luchini's deadpan, wide-eyed performance as the constantly non-plussed critic who lurches from one embarrassing predicament to another is perhaps the film's main delight. So much so, in fact, that it comes as a slight disappointment to discover the story developing into a conventional relationship dilemma: will Didier settle with his promiscuous fiancée Juliette (Sandrine Kiberlain) who takes a sadistic pleasure in humiliating him at every opportunity; or will he end up with the crazy, masochistic Aurélie (Valentina Cervi) who is Juliette's complete opposite?
While far from the best example of its type, this is a perfectly decent French relationship comedy, well acted and directed, darker and broader than Rohmer, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny (particularly in the scenes between Luchini and Kiberlain), and utterly inconsequential (well, the title does sort of warn us about that).
It has a great final line, by the way.