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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.

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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!

Amélie

MV5BMTUwNzkwMTk5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDAzMDI5-1._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz

Amelie grew up in an emotionally isolated way, leading to her adult self living slightly outside of reality. She discovers that she has the power to influence the lives of others by subtle manipulation. Amelie, therefore, goes about trying to fix people’s lives – her lonely father, the local fruit vendor, her workmates. Some of her plans succeed, but some do not.

Amelie’s neighbours encourage her to take risks in her own life, to be brave enough to follow her heart and find her own happiness. She is drawn to Nino, some-one who seems to be living along that same fine line of reality. But she can only contact him through a treasure-hunt style game. Will Nino play the game and pursue Amelie? Will she ever be able to find love?

This is a classic, loveable French rom com where there is nothing not to like. I re-watched it recently and it was just as good second time round – overly refreshing and delightful, moving at a steady pace with an interesting array of characters.