The chance encounter of two different characters, from opposite social environments, having divergent interests, one sticking to the other without the latter being able to get rid of the clinger, is a narrative outline which has been used and abused over the years ("L'emmerdeur", the Pierre Richard/Gérard Depardieu comedies, many a screwball comedy of the golden age of Hollywood,...), so don't expect "Mon pire cauchemar" to surprise you in any way. As a matter of fact, Anne Fontaine's film reproduces the "odd couple" model, with its two main protagonists bickering back and forth most of the film's running time before mellowing at each other by the end of the story. Here you have Isabelle Huppert as a stiff, supercilious bourgeoise vs. Benoît Poelvoerde as a hopeless tosser who sticks like glue to her. However, although "Mon pire cauchemar" does not break any new ground in terms of narrative, it nevertheless works well, both as a pure comedy and a romcom. Two reasons can account for this apparent paradox. The first one is that Anne Fontaine is well aware that she is not innovating here. What she is after in fact is to use the stereotypes inherent in this type of comedies and to play with them in a laid-back way. We have seen Benoît Poelvoerde so often in the role of the self- satisfied pain in the neck that we can guess in advance what his character will say and do. In this case, laughter comes from these very expectations. The same applies to Isabelle Huppert who has more than once been uptight and cold on the big screen. The second reason, as far as the romantic aspect goes, is that Anne Fontaine (along with her co-writer Nicolas Mercier) manages to make us believe in the love story, highly improbable as it appears in the first half. And if she does so, it is because she has been able to give flesh to her lead couple. Even if, for a time, they seem to be nothing but puppets that wiggle their heads and flap their arms in the air, their humanity is gradually revealed when Anne Fontaine goes beyond their blatant defects (Agathe's snobbery and haughty coolness ; Patrick's terrible shamelessness) and shows either partner bringing to the other what he/she misses. Seeing Huppert letting loose and starting at last to ENJOY life and Poelvoorde declare in a moving scene: "I'm just a pathetic schmuck. I'm toxic" marks a welcome change of tone. The funny but mechanical comedy of the beginning has become more profound and we can now adhere to the two characters instead of merely laughing at them. All in all, this is surely not the best comedy ever filmed, but being a well-paced one, moreover very well interpreted by Huppert, Poelvoorde and André Dussolier (never better than when he can, as is the case here, be smart, light and weak), it is well worth seeing.