6 May 2007 | dbdumonteil
a little game in which the viewer is the loser
Bernard Rapp passed away last year and was a very cultured journalist. Cinema was one of his biggest passions (he penned a vast worldwide dictionary of films) and so he was bound to wield a camera at least one time in his life. But the films he left garnered lukewarm reviews: "Tiré à Part" (1996) in spite of Terence Stamp's sensational performance was very caricatured in the depiction of the characters, "une Affaire De Goût" (2000) was a slick affair even if Bernard Giraudeau delivered a perverse performance, "Pas Si Grave" (2003) was another let-down and "un Petit Jeu Sans Conséquence" is as underwhelming as its predecessors. Its comic potential is exploited in a flimsy way.
And however, the starting idea let predict a twirling, spiritual comedy. A couple held by Yvan Attal and Sandrine Kiberlain who invited their friends is in full moving in a lascivious mansion. To play with their guests, they pretend to part company with each other. And things don't go as planned because the announcement of their separation doesn't surprise them. The two lovers start to ponder about the validity of their couple.
In spite of lush scenery and the promising material he had at his disposal, Rapp's undistinguished directing can't manage to give life to this game with unexpected consequences. The plot follows a well-worn pattern with characters who have specific well-known functions and masks that are unveiled about who they really are. Verbal or situation comic effects often fall flat. A bad editing fades a little more the film with this bad habit from Rapp to abruptly cut many sequences. Even the actors' sincere input in the venture is debatable. They seem to be bored and to recite their texts than to live them, especially Sandrine Kiberlain. The audience is soon caught in a deep torpor.
It's regrettable to say it: Bernard Rapp's films never lived up to his intentions as "un Petit Jeu sans Conséquence" bears witness.