Category Archives: french rom coms

French romantic comedy films from the year 2000 on

It Boy

MV5BMTQ3NzcxMjkyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjYzMDI1OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_AL_Virginie Efira, Pierre Niney

Alice is a hard working Parisian fashion magazine editor. She’s nearly 40 and could potentially lose her job to a younger, more exciting woman. To her disbelief, Alice’s boss would rather her be offbeat and rebellious, than a tight-ass workaholic.

As she’s recently met a young student, Alice decides to use him to embrace her rebelliousness and change her image. Poor unknowing Balthazar thinks he’s on to a very good thing with a hot older woman taking an interest in him, until he finds out it’s all a sham.

The film lightly touches on the hypocrisy faced by older women who date younger men, by men their own age – this mainly comes from Balthazar’s renegade father.

This is a solid rom com with fine acting and a fluid script. I’m not sure whether I like all French rom coms simply because they’re French. It’s hard to tell whether the ‘exotic’ factor carries the plot. Efira is certainly all class, mesmerising, a pleasure to watch, and she dominates the film.

This is a simple movie with very few twists and turns, but is very enjoyable.

Advertisements

Populaire

MV5BMjA2NzY4MDExOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTE4NzQzOQ@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Deborah Francois, Romain Duris

Set in 1950s France, Rose travels from her local village to the nearest town to get her dream job as a secretary. She loves to type. In fact, she can type so fast that her new boss enters her into a typing contest. She moves in with him so he can coach her for the national championships. And as time goes by, they begin to fall in love with each other.

But sacrifices need to be made in order to become a champion. Will Rose and Louis sacrifice their love for the sake of Rose’s ambition?

Who thinks watching some-one type isn’t interesting? That would be rather missing the point. It’s not quintessentially a film about typing, it’s a film about the struggle to make it to the top, and a film about finding love.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I really enjoyed this film. Everything seems to work well – the timing, the spectacle, the performance, the characters, the tension. Deborah Francois is delightful and matched well with Duris.

This is a totally entertaining movie and definitely worth looking for.

 

 

Romantics Anonymous

MV5BNjk2NDg5MDE4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjkwNjgwNw@@._V1_SY317_CR104,0,214,317_AL_Isabelle Carre, Benoit Poelvoorde

Ah French romantic comedies – must all their protagonists be so intense, haunted, gifted? And a little mad?!

…and here we have Angelique who is an extraordinary chocolate maker, but who is intensely shy. Her new boss is also incredibly shy, so it seems that the two of them could not possibly make a relationship work. Their only relationship must be making chocolate together, and saving Jean-Rene’s failing business. But if they love each other, then maybe they can overcome anything.

I know you’ve heard it before, but oh such a sweet sweet film this is! There is a mere hint of Woody Allen, a mere hint of other classic French rom coms involving chocolate (oh you know who you are), and a mere hint of something just lovely.

Although not overly novel or adventurous, this is simply a gorgeous (yet twee) film that needs to be watched on a winter’s night with big woolly socks and a hot cup of cocoa.

 

Fly Me to the Moon/A Perfect Plan

MV5BMTY5MjYxNzUzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDI1NjAzOQ@@._V1_SY317_CR9,0,214,317_AL_Diane Kruger, Dany Boon, Alice Pol

What is the real name of this film? Find it under Un Plan Parfait (the original French title), A Perfect Plan (the translation), or Fly Me to the Moon (which is the title in the Australian video shops).

Isabelle has inherited the family curse – all first marriages end in divorce. She loves her long time boyfriend, Pierre, and wants to marry him. So the only solution to her problem is to find a dummy to marry and divorce before her real wedding can take place. The adventure to find husband number one takes her to Denmark, Kenya and Russia and not everything goes according to plan. Will Pierre get to be Isabelle’s second husband after all?

These protagonists are a little more adventurous than our usual French rom-comers who tend to stay close to home. Even though Isabelle is having wild adventures, her story is being told at the family dinner table, enabling the viewer to still feel safe at home in France.

I very much enjoyed this movie and welcome Diane Kruger to the rom com family – she certainly is eye-catching!  This is an engaging, witty, and thoroughly entertaining film and I highly recommend it, particularly if you like your French romantic comedies.

 

 

 

Happiness Never Comes Alone

MV5BMjE0MzEwODk5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTUwMzc0OA@@._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_Sophie Marceau, Gad Elmaleh

Sacha is a lively, carefree, irresponsible musician composing jingles by day and playing jazz clubs at night. He sports a bachelor lifestyle with many young women coming and going.

He quite accidentally meets Charlotte and is immediately enamoured by her. The relationship that develops surprises him, his friends, and his mother because Charlotte, if nothing else, is age-appropriate!

But Charlotte has two ex-husbands and three children and Sacha is clearly out of his depth. The relationship ends up being extremely disruptive to Sacha’s life and his ambitions. Will their passion be enough for them to make it work?

As you may or may not know, I am not very objective when it comes to French rom coms – I approach them very optimistically, fairly confident that there won’t be crude and sexist humour. Of course they are not immune to using stereotypical images of women, or employing double standards when developing female and male characters…however, I believe French rom coms to be in a little world of their own.

This is a funny, and even a touching film. It got a bit bogged down three-quarters of the way through, but it picked up for a tremendous rom com ending. It is an enjoyable and entertaining film with not too many characters to follow and understand. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Hunting and Gathering

MV5BMTUyMjYyNTEyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzg5MjQ4MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Audrey Tautou, Guillaume Canet, Laurent Stocker, Francoise Bertin

Philibert rescues Camille when she is sick and alone. She moves into the Parisian apartment he shares with his friend Franck. At first, the atmosphere is tense between Camille and Franck, but they eventually become friends. In fact, although the three all move in different circles, they come to need and support each other.

Camille helps to care for Franck’s grandmother, and Franck, in turn, cares for Camille. In such supportive circumstances, Philibert finds his own love.

I very much enjoyed this French film. Tatou is tremendous, but then, I’m very biased towards her.

The three main characters all have relationship issues with their parents, but the friendship and love that grows between them helps them to move past their problems and find real happiness.

The gorgeous ending can only leave the viewer satisfied and uplifted. Definitely a film to watch.

The Perfect Date

MV5BMTcyNTIyNTU2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjk2ODUxNw@@._V1_SY317_CR9,0,214,317_Clovis Cornillac, Virginie Efira, Manu Payet, Annelise Hesme

Michel is married and then divorced within a year. He now wishes for fate to bring him his soulmate. Further, he is determined to meet his some-one new in a very grande way.

His best friend sets him up with Angele. They hit it off immediately, but when Michel finds out that Vincent was responsible for them meeting instead of fate, he breaks off the relationship.

This film is called L’Amour C’est Mieux a Deux. It’s hard not to be biased towards French films because they do romance, love, and friendships so well. This is a lovely film, and I enjoyed all the characters very much, especially Michel and Angele.

Welcome to the Sticks

MV5BMjEwNzMzMzUxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODcyODA4MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_Zoe Felix, Anne Marivin, Kad Merad, Danny Boon

The story is about the relationship between husband and wife, Philippe and Julie. Philippe works for the postal service, Julie is depressed. So Philippe tries to get transferred to the French riviera in order to cheer her up. Things don’t go according to plan and he ends up in the north of France – the sticks.

Expecting things to be backward, hostile, and diseased, Philippe is pleasantly surprised to find that the north of France is not like people in the south believe it to be. Julie refuses to accompany him, so he doesn’t tell her the truth about Bergues, letting her believe that he is very brave to be able to survive there.

This is an extremely lovely, funny movie. The characters are likeable and the comedy is typically French. There are two couples who find love, and it is indeed one of the better romantic comedy films that I’ve seen of late. I whole-heartedly recommend this film.

Every Jack has a Jill

Melanie Laurent, Justin Bartha

When Jack is dumped by his girlfriend, he uncharacteristically decides to go to Paris on a holiday he won. He loses his suitcase and spends most of the trip alone in his hotel room.  Chloe is a lonely Parisian who spends most of her time in her flat watching DVDs. She accidentally ends up with Jack’s suitcase when she returns from a business trip.The suitcase and its contents intrigue her and she decides she is in love with the owner, making a date to meet him. They seem perfect for each other. But will Jack really turn out to be the man of her dreams?

This is another light, French romantic comedy with all the necessary rom com features. It is called Jusqu’a Toi (Until You) and I’m not sure why they changed the title or why no-one told them that “Every Jack has a Jill” is a bit clunky. Some of the supporting characters are under-explored, and therefore, they don’t fit into the film smoothly enough. If it wasn’t for Laurent, there wouldn’t be much to this flick – she is effortlessly gorgeous and sufficiently disturbed to make you love her. But there was nearly not enough for her to work with. It just scrapes over the line.

Beautiful Lies

Audrey Tautou, Nathalie Baye, Sami Bouajila

Set in a small French town, Emilie is a hairdresser and business owner. She is admired from afar by her shy handyman, Jean. He sends Emilie an anonymous and extremely passionate love letter. In an attempt to cheer up her depressed mother, Maddy, Emilie sends it on to her. As with all little lies in rom coms, they get bigger and bigger until they explode. In this case, all over Emilie, Maddy, and Jean.

This film got quite harsh reviews, with many people commenting on the disparaging roles of the two main female protagonists. But I don’t think the film probed deeply enough into the characters to make you dislike them, or make you think they are a cheap portrayal of women. They are simply mother and daughter in a tricky situation of their own making. Even if Audrey Tautou is nasty, how can you dislike her?

The film contained the key elements of a rom com – the love interest, the lie gone wrong, the quick humour, and the romantic ending. I thought it’s a gorgeous little flick, and even though it isn’t up to scratch for French film aficionados. It’s better than a lot of American rom coms I’ve seen lately!