Thursday, April 28, 2016

AIIW: Populaire

Once again, it’s been a while since I wrote a review for this series. Click HERE for a refresher on what it's about. You may be seeing more of these reviews for a few weeks while I adjust to life in my new city.

Movie Stats:
Released 2012 (France)
French & Belgian, in French (small amounts of English & German; everything subtitled)
Director - Regis Roinsard
Stars - Romain Duris, Deborah Francois

Plot Summary:
In 1959 small-town France, insurance agent Louis Echard (Duris) quickly discovers that his new secretary Rose Pamphyle (Francois) is terrible at her job, with one notable exception: her crazy good typing skills. Speed typing contests and romance ensue.

Very brief female nudity (breasts only); minor, non-graphic violence (slapping, a punch); minimal blue language.

Bad Stuff:
It’s too long for a frothy romantic comedy. Definitely could have used fewer scenes of women frantically typing.

The storyline involving Louis’s feelings for his now-married childhood love Marie (Berenice Bejo) seemed unnecessary to me. Other aspects of his past/family life were enough to explain why he might be reticent to chase after Rose. Marie felt like an afterthought.

Good Stuff:
All the “background” stuff was PERFECT. The set design, costuming, cinematography, and music made me instantly fall in love with this film. I want to own every single thing that Rose wore.

I really enjoyed everyone’s performances, but particularly liked Shaun Benson, who played Louis’s American best friend Bob (who is also Marie’s husband). He was incredibly charming. I was amused by how his character was so “1950s American male as viewed by the French.”

It’s so cute and sweet!

The Verdict:
This movie was in my queue for years, and I think this is definitely a case of “right movie watched at the right time.” Mentally and emotionally depleted from our recent, sudden move (short version for those not in the know: husband lost his job when company unexpectedly folded, got a new job an hour and a half away from where we were living, we moved, whole thing took place in less than a month), I really needed to watch something that I knew would have a happy ending. This fit the bill perfectly. It was such an adorable homage to 1950s romantic comedies. It’s neither deep nor meaningful, but it’s not trying to be. It’s the kind of movie you watch so that, at the end, you can say to yourself, “Now that was satisfying.” If you like cute romantic comedies, choose this one when you need a pick-me-up.

I give it 4.25 stars.


Patricia said...

This sounds great! The plot description alone had me.

balyien said...

I honestly think that you would love this film.