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  • In Paris, the forty-three year-old Luis "Pipou" Costa (Alain Chabat) is a immature bachelor and successful creator of perfumes and does not have any intention to get married. However, his oppressive family that is ruled by six women - his mother Geneviève Costa (Bernadette Lafont) and his sisters Catherine (Véronique Barrault), Axelle (Marie-Armelle Deguy), Carole (Katia Lewkowicz), Maxine (Louise Monot)and Marie (Luce Mouchel) decide that Luis shall get married and they try to find a wife for him among their friends.

    When Luis is having lunch with his best friend Pierre-Yves (Grégoire Oestermann), he learns that his regular waitress is depressed and not working because her fiancé left her a couple of days before their wedding. Luis plots a scheme to hire a woman to pose as his fiancée and to leave him on the day of their marriage in order that his family does not bother him anymore. He hires Pierre's sister Emmanuelle "Emma" (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who is trying to adopt a child from Brazil, to be his bride-to-be and to leave him at the altar on the day of their wedding. However his plan fails since his family loves Emma and when she does not show up to marry him, his mother has to go to the hospital and his sisters blame him. Now Luis hires Emma again to act like a bitch to make his family hate her. Meanwhile Luis falls in love with Emma and when his plan works and Emma leaves him, he misses her. Would it be too late for him to declare his love for Emma?

    "Prête-moi ta main" is a delightful romantic comedy with an entertaining story, funny situations and very well acted. The charming, elegant and beautiful Charlotte Gainsbourg is one of my favorite actresses and I loved to see her in a light movie after several Lars von Triers features. The characters are interesting and we can see the stingy guy, the family that likes to snoop and interfere in the life of the members and an independent woman that is the opposite of the other women. In the end, "Prête-moi ta main" is a French comedy that will make your day (or night) better. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "A Noiva Perfeita" ("The Perfect Bride")
  • I love love. I'm a sucker for romantic comedies and as of late, I've been on a foreign film binge. Enter stage left: I Do. While undeniably predictable, the film has its charms and throws in some obstacles I didn't expect and found myself smiling as I watched it unfold.

    However, my main concern was the lack of chemistry between Luis and Emma. There were no looks of intrigue, scarcely any playful banter between the two - for the most part, their interaction seemed to be simply what Luis intended it to be - a business interaction. Perhaps I'm terribly picky, but I found the leap between the conspirers' platonic relationship to romance to be a sudden leap rather than one with a bit of a build up. In that case alone, I was mildly disappointed.

    But with that aspect aside, the actors do do a good job with the script they're given. Luis's family, although somewhat irritating, are simultaneously charming and overbearing and I warmed up to them in the end. I really think the men need a bit more screen time as they were hardly in it and my favorite scene (the scene with the M6) happened to be one of their few. The wedding comes too quickly for my taste, but with a few more scenes to build character relationships, this film would've been a knock out. So not bad, but not exactly the best film either.
  • Alain Chabat claims this movie as his original idea but the theme of reluctant lovers who finally get it together is as old, if not older, than Shakespeare.

    Chabat is a "vieux garcon", happily single and not wanting any member of the opposite sex to disturb his life. He has a problem, 5 sisters and a matriarchal mum - the G7 - who decide he should be married. Enter the delightful, charming Charlotte Gainsbourg and what should be a simple plan. Charlotte has to pose as Chabat's girlfriend and then simply not turn up on the day of the wedding. No more talk of marriage from the G7. Of course the best laid plans have a habit of spiralling out of control.

    There are very strong supporting roles from Lafont as the mother and Osterman as the tight-fisted brother of Gainsbourg.

    There are some fantastic scenes as first Charlotte has to charm, then revolt the family. French farce with an English.
  • Didn't know anything about the movie before watching and I think it was the "no expectation" factor that helped me endure at first and later like it more than I anticipated.

    The setting was interesting, strange but interesting. The storyline had gaps/jumps that I think throws the audience off a bit. There's no great soundtrack playing in the background, creating the "romantic" ambiance. BUT they all didn't matter.

    The chemistry between Emma and Luis was simply exquisite. There was some inexplicable strange chemistry that I couldn't resist; I fell in love with it and here I am, writing this review. The subtle love portrayal by the two actors was superb, and I believe, that is the core of this movie.

    This movie is not an everyday romantic comedy; in fact, not all of us will appreciate it. I had to sit a while and then slowly began to comprehend the little things I didn't catch at first. I cannot guarantee everyone will like it, but I hope YOU do.
  • missmarmite30 September 2007
    There wasn't a dry eye amongst the audience yesterday afternoon after I left the cinema, having seen this gem of a film in a sold-out house as part of this year's Hamburg Film Festival. And the tears shed were all of laughter. This film was hilarious, there's no other way of saying this. There wasn't one boring bit in it, I laughed right through it and with me everyone else of us three hundred lovers of French cinéma.

    Alain Chabat was absolutely terrific. A great clown if needs be and serious if the situation calls for it. The performance was of course completely over the top, but this was exactly what the story needed and what made it work so well. Equally great was Charlotte Gainsbourg who I love to see a lot, and the mother was also a very strong performance. The sisters could have been a bit more detailed in character script-wise, but apart from that there is nothing to moan about. I had a great afternoon seeing this film while Hamburg was drowning in rain outside, and I wish films like this from France would get a regular release in Germany. But the distributors is this country don't seem to understand that the French make good films. I at least can't wait to find a DVD which offers subtitles (Hello Australia? Please?) because that film I need at home to watch several more times!
  • rodris0817 April 2012
    "I Do: How to Get Married and Stay Single" is an extremely funny film. I really enjoyed watching a family try to control a 43 year-old's life. It seems to be such a foreign idea that a family would go through such extremes but makes for a great movie. I also enjoyed seeing how the director and scene writers decided to make the main character use his heartbreaks as encouragement for a career. The fact that he was able to channel those feelings into making perfumes that reminded him of the women who broke is hear was incredible.

    The director in this movie, Eric Lartigau, brought his skills from working not only as a director but also as a former co-writer, assistant director, and actor to this movie. Though he was more involved with directing TV series, his knowledge brought him great success in this movie. Following this film, he continued with his career and got nominated for a Cesar Award as Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie "The Big Picture."

    This movie brings up the involvement family members have in each other lives as well as the extremes people go through for their families to back off. These ideas seem to be the most interesting because they are working against each other. On one hand, Luis (the main character) is trying to get his nagging sisters and mother off of his back in finding a wife because they are just annoying him while all they want is for him to have a wife to be happy and do things for him. It is a bit of a Catch 22 because you want your family to be happy, but at what expense? Will you nag them to death because you think it is best for them? Hopefully not.

    The setting of this movie was very modern. It gives the audience a great full view of their lives. It made the movie more believable and realistic by having such a broad and diverse setting throughout the film. It shows multiple sections of the office wear Luis works as well as his house, mother's house, etc. I also think Lartigau did a wonderful job in directing. He also got the actors feel believable. By the end of the movie, you feel a sense of a connection with each person. You feel exactly how they do and grow a sense of respect for each character.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have to be 100% honest with you fellow IMDb users. I wanted to see this movie for a very long time only because of the poster. Doesn't Charlotte Gainsbourg looks extremely sexy and charming smiling that way? I'm in love with that woman! I got what I expected...but only half. This film should deliver expectations for those who enjoy all kinds of romantic comedies or stories involving intelligent humor and light dramatic situations.

    While I don't agree with another fellow IMDb user who states that the movie is overrated; I must admit that "Préte-moi ta main" has plenty of flaws.

    My main problem with the film is the lack of on screen chemistry between the main characters. There isn't a single scene previous to the climax that shows the main characters sharing a moment "of romance" or even a clue to suggest that they're interested in each other.

    In fact, the only scene were both share a moment is tremendously awkward (when both are in the couch) and does not help the audience understand about a possible love interest. I didn't buy the dinner sequence.

    Still, the movie delivers very funny moments and has a strong dialogs that support such an ingenuous premise. I mean with ingenuous that it would be very difficult to execute such a farse by a 43 year old man in these days.

    I understand it's a movie and that's why I accept it as a funny situation. Plus, the humor is versatile. There are moments involving S&M, funny lines with Chabat's best friend, some lesbian references, funny situations involving the family women, and more.

    Charlotte Gaionsbourg's performance is top notch and she's by far the reason to watch the movie. She's funny, sexy, looks very thin and fine, and demonstrates she's a versatile and talented actress who can pull out a comedic and dramatic performance in sheer brilliance.

    Alain Chabat is a fine actor and gives a very decent performance. I think the supporting cast do what they can.

    The score, art direction, and other technical aspects are really good and give a dynamic look to the film.

    Those who enjoy this kind of cinema should be pleased after the ending credits. It's a good example of feel good cinema.
  • writers_reign28 December 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    Alain Chabat is a fine actor, writer and director but maybe a trifle misguided to take an 'idea' credit for a story that probably had them rolling in the aisles when Aristophanes was still learning that it's 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'. But, like I said, Chabat is a fine actor and he can do charm when he needs to. I'm also gradually overcoming an aversion to Charlotte Gainsbourg who also turns in an accomplished performance. If you absolutely insist on knowing, the 'plot' is the one about the guy well into his forties and more than content to be single. This doesn't sit well with his mother and five sisters and to get them off his back he makes an 'arrangement' with the sister of a colleague to pose - for fifteen thousand euros -as his new girlfriend, allow the romance to come to fruition with a wedding and then jilt him, thus getting him off the hook. Naturally they wind up together but along the way there's some sub-Benedek and Beatrice duelling and all things considered it's a pretty painless ninety minutes and performing so well at the French box office that a sequel may not be out of the question.
  • From the opening shots of the lead actor, we are given a early view on how so many mens lives are run by the women in them, and the humour that comes thru with all that goes on in the day to day of 'normal' life.

    Eric Lartigau, the director picks up on how so many European men feel that they are in complete control of their lives, yet without the help/support of the women around them cannot seem to make things work. The use of facial image throughout the film is superb, and his clever positioning of the senior member of the family (mother) is spot on.

    While there are more than enough laughs in the movie, it still deals with single parents/adoption and the strength of family in society. Truly rewarding to watch, and again one that only the French seam capable to make.

    So far one of the best 50 or so Films I have seen this year, and well worth a five start rating. I look forward to adding this one to the DVD collection when it is released and highly recommend it to all ages.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Forty-Year-Old Virgin meets Pretty Woman: that's the pitch, but it's the initial premise that'ss hard to get by. I never saw why he had to do all this.

    This comes with no festival laurels, only some good box office (thanks to heavy promotion?) in France and average reviews there. Premise (from which we are not allowed a moment's respite): "Life is good for Luis (Alain Chabat). He's happily single, enjoys his job and is loved, cherished and pampered by his mother and five sisters. But one day, they decide it's time for him to marry. Luis hurriedly hatches a plan…He will find the perfect woman who will charm them. . ., and disappear on the day of the wedding. After that nobody will dare mention the word marriage to him again" (-- from the press kit).

    The trouble with this comedy is that everything about it seems staged, beginning with the original family (which includes some male members omitted from the description above) and its elaborate dining room meetings and heavy bourgeois trappings. There never was a family like this outside of a French comedy – outside of this French comedy. The rapid fire introduction of family members – a shot for each with less than a sound bite – is typical of one of the film's main methods: it throws excessive amounts of unnecessary information at you in the hopes that it will keep your attention – and keep you from thinking how completely shallow all this contrivance is.

    Luis is a perfume designer, and this introduces another elaborate set of contrived scenes and characters.

    Enter Charlotte Gainsbourg. She is the sister (whom strangely Luis did not previously know) of Luis' best friend, and after exhaustive interviews of unsuccessful candidates for the fake bride, she's left.

    Gainsbourg is a trouper, and a veteran of French film comedy. Those by her husband Yvan Atal were, however, much more nuanced and interesting than this Lupiece of fluff. And Gainsbourg's gamine look is beginning to show some signs of wear (too much dieting, too many cigarettes?). She still has the charm, but maybe she might try taking it into more serious, less frenetic roles.

    After the wedding, which is lame, and no doubt borrowed from other film weddings rather than any known reality, Luis's mother collapses and is taken to the hospital – another of many fake gestures to liven things up.

    And guess what happens? Oh, you'll never. Gaionsbourg and Chabat actually fall for each other. Wow. And then things get cute, and it's all over.

    What a lot of work all this was to put together, and what a bore it is to watch! There are a great many better French comedies out there. Even among the formulaic ones we currently have The Valet/La doublure (Francis Veber), which is far more economical and amusing. Among the more interesting ones is the currently playing in New York Avenue Montaigne/Fauteuils d'orchestre, which was at the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Lincoln Center last year and belatedly got picked up. Or there is Laurent Tirard's (who worked on this) Mensonges et trahisons et plus si affinités--which has the likes of Clovis Cornillac to liven it up.

    Another related comedy: Tanguy, about a man child who won't leave home. His hanging on with his wealthy parents is closer to contemporary European realities than Luis and his bossy extended family. He doesn't have to get married (though he does); he just has to move out of the house. The whole process is played for laughs, but it begins with a real situation. This doesn't. Mistake.
  • I think Charlotte Gainsbourg is one of the best performers in the world. I can't understand why some people say she's not. Boring....??? Maybe the one who said she's boring is because he/she is boring. She's a great actress and the movie was excellent. It has lots of wonderful ideas and very good performers. The direction was great. I imaging myself in the French environment with all the sophistication and perfume, flowers, churches, problems, etc. When she goes to the sister's shop is simply amazing. Everything's great. We have a very good actress, wonderful, for long time. Alain Chabat and Bernadette Lafont are perfect. I like him more than in his next movie LA SCIENCE DES RÊVES. And Eric Lartigau did a very good work.

  • Behold the mighty off-screen presence of singer-actor Luis Mariano, the emerging patron saint of French comedy: Jaco van Dormael's touching "The Eighth Day" came first, then Djamel Bensalah's hilarious "Homeboys at the Beach", and now "How to Get Married". This one is more predictable than the other two, but it will keep lovers of happy endings satisfied without too much of a guilty conscience. If you are, however, like me and think romantic comedy is essentially a cuss word, this old-school vaudeville piece may be your one chance at reconciliation. Charlotte Gainsbourg, super-charming as usual, and Alain Chabat click as comedians and also make a very handsome couple. Oh, and *do* watch out for Virginie Bordes as Annick, the spicy waitress.
  • Balthazar-56 December 2007
    I love romantic comedies. I love French cinema. Charlotte Gainsbourg was fine in Claude Miller's La Petite Voleuse. But since then, her charmless personality seems to be the death-knell for everything she touches.

    This is a theoretically fun movie, in which a middle-aged guy tries to get one over on his domineering family. And, being a romantic comedy, we know the way it's going to go. But Gainsbourg seems so affected as the hired-in fiancée, and so emotionally wooden, that even if she had the 'nichons' that her partner would have preferred (as I would), it is doubtful that she would have saved this forlorn if not totally lost film.
  • First this movie (with its ending) is a formula comedy romance but well done. European movies often take a standard American fare (Doris Day Phone Game or Emails) and add 15 IQ points and stretch it out in a way that leaves you guessing a little---which over all is a much more satisfying experience. Europeans are also a little more cynical and the Hollywood moral nanny= never can a bad guy get away is not a wall they won't cross.

    The ending seals this as stock kitsch/comedy but getting there had a lot of twists and good writer(s). I didn't find the main actor so great as the other reviewers did---he is too clownish rather repelling looking. One of my great puzzlements is why the French for less than handsome actors?? If you speak French the shocking bad language of the female actor makes it especially funny.

    It so much the luck of the draw--I have Netflix streaming and they don't have most of the famous or popular is always a gamble. This one paid off.

    If you want another good comedy try Mid August Lunch. It is totally unique and much better---or The Big Picture (in US) by this same director which is much better than this film. Well much higher production values and thriller story I like.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    "I Do" is an enjoyable, if flawed film. It's far from a great French film but you could certainly do worse and it's a decent date night movie.

    Luis is the only male in his family now that his father has died. The sisters and mother announce one day that they are tired of him being a bachelor in his 40s and he MUST get married ASAP. So, they begin setting him up with all sorts of women. They even go online and chat up women...pretending to be Luis himself! Not surprisingly, he wants them to leave him alone and sabotages each of these set-ups...after all, Luis is a rather shallow guy and LIKES living the swinging single life. But finally, out of exhaustion with their tactics, he decides to outsmart them. He pays Emma to pretend to be his fiancée and the plan is to eventually have her leave him at the alter...thus freeing him up, at least for a while, from his family's interference.

    Where all this goes is very predictable--and even though there had been NO CHEMISTRY WHATSOEVER between Luis and Emma, by the end of the film, suddenly and inexplicably they decide to REALLY marry! But as I said, this comes with little warning and the build-up is unrealistically short. Stretching the story out a bit and giving more hints that they were falling in love would have made sense. As for Emma, she NEVER showed any signs and Luis only very near the end...which really hurt the film. It made is seem formulaic and very unrealistic.

    For a very similar plot but with it being much better made, try "Bollywood/Hollywood"...a wonderful film with pretty much the same premise. However, it is handled much better and is a much more romantic comedy.
  • I first didn't want to watch this film, for the trailer gave the impression of a common and too expected film...but as I recently had the pleasure to discover the surprising "Mensonges et trahisons et plus si affinité"" which was beautifully directed and written by Laurent Tirard (screenwriter of "prête-moi ta main"), I changed my mind and decided to try it, thinking that "Prête-moi ta main", would be as good as "mensonges...". And it is absolutely not. The script is not bad, but it is not as well directed as "Mensonges...", the actors not as generous (especially Charlotte, as boring as she usually is) as Edouard Baer or Clovis Cornillac, and too be honest, I still don't understand how such crap can have such a success, even with such a casting... Anyway the story could have been a pretext to create so many interesting plots, but it is not as good as Tirard's "Mensonges..." though it's also written by him. Easy, unsurprising, and lazy work. Totally overestimated!