13 May 2004 | gonz30
Boring "comedy" focusing on confusing couple-swapping & Parisian clichés
This is the kind of French romantic comedy or drama (you decide) which gives the genre a bad name. Set in a very stylized Paris, the film drew me (and probably most viewers) with its very well-known cast. This is a rarity, as these light mass audience films usually feature one or two "known" names. Here we have four of the biggest names in the last 12 years of French cinema, all of which have performed in at least a couple of English language films, and in other European languages. They are among the rare actors popular both in box office hits and in the film festival circuit. And they are mostly pretty young, and in their prime.
So, their names attracts audiences from outside the French film world as well. If this weren't the case, I would not have caught it in an afternoon movie session in Brazilian TV! Unfortunately, this causes the perpetration of the negative "French film" stigma: that worldwide prejudice which keeps many moviegoers (including in France) far from any "French Film."
The film focuses on the most pervasive Parisian clichés to tell its story. Perhaps the film's setting in Paris needed to be overstated. In any case, Paris and its related post card clichés are exploited without mercy. At first, one even wonders if this is perhaps a satire of a French comedy. How did these actors, all then and still now at their peak (the film is from 2000/2001) accept to do this movie?
Well, as our story begins, we meet a young woman (played by an actress in a role type which now defines her) who'll do anything to keep her husband; played by another actor, also cast in a role you've seen him in often. The young woman visits a psychic magician, who is of course Yugoslavian - aren't the best gypsy psychics from there? Besides, that's exactly the quirky type "character role" this actor from the former Yugoslavia plays all the time in French movies recently seen.
The psychic foresees a rather dark love life for the woman. Another woman, and another man are in the picture. But as she wants a happy ending, she insists on another reading. This subjects us viewers to the predictable, tedious alternatives that two couples routinely encounter in the contemporary "European comedies" we've seen before.
Since they're in Paris, a famous landmark will of course be a focal point for casual meetings, willing or unwilling suicide attempts, saving lives, and metal-structure climbing and jumping. Surprise, they're using the Eiffel Tower. The "Arc de Triomphe" is also used in a scene where one character mistakes an extreme sports jumper for a suicidal lunatic. But the Eiffel Tower gets most of the choice scenes.
If the script sounds original and entertaining so far, then you'll probably enjoy the movie. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and use your precious time in a better way.