10 March 2020 | ulicknormanowen
Airlock or corridor?
This is really a family movie ; both principals have been living together for a long time and they have two children ;so they appear as themselves in their film ;so does the actress's father ,actor Richard , who is only featured in one scene ;there's even a hint at one of his real roles "Le Grand chemin" ; oddly ,although Romane Bohringer and Philippe Rebot are both comedians ,they do not seem to work at all ;all the screenplay focuses on their relationship.
They are victims of the passage of time;a routine has set in ;and their "amour fou" has turned into "amour flou" (=vague love), a pretty smart word game .
Both are excellent and all the scenes they share are enthusing ,particularly that when they have an argument about the passage between the two flats (airlock or corridor?)
This is really a new look at separation :Romane and Philippe cannot go on living together but what about the children? A brainwave : two flats ,communicating , the children's room in the middle ,so they can choose (for instance between mom's lasagna or papa's pasta ).As the (political? ) woman philippe meets in the cafe of the park says "it's a brilliant idea to solve the housing problem!"
Yes ,when Romane and Philippe are alone together, the film brilliantly succeeds; I would be less enthused over all those that surround them : some critics wrote that they avoid clichés ,but the girl the husband meets in the park and who sleeps with him straightaway , the absolutely unbearable headmaster who tries to hog the stage, the couple of gays longing for a child ,the bisexual girl who sees time passing her by and sleeps with the wife ,the stout man who comes to check the stores(???) are either clichés or caricatures.
The man with the dog is less derivative and his lessons in "animal psychology" are a welcome antidote against the headmaster's appalling pedagogy ; the scenes with Romane's parents and Philippe father's are more convincing since the actors do not try to steal the show from the stars: the scene of the father ,trying to find a new home, accentuates ,not without humor ,a pivotal problem of our time.
A whole family involved in a film ,it's rare in the French cinema : Agnès Varda tried it in 1965 with "le bonheur " with the Drouot family ,and so did claude Chabrol with his screenwriter Paul Gégauff's ,but neither of those works were among both directors' best.Isolated from their supporting cast , "L'Amour Flou" is more convincing.