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Barnie lives in Calais but works in London. Everyday, he takes the Eurostar to go to his office. Although he is married to Lucie, Barnie has two lovers in London: Margot, a young and fresh advertising executive, and Mark, a hot 35 years old auctioneer. Everything could work out fine like that, until Margot, Mark and Lucie separately offer Barnie the same birthday present: a return ticket to Venice on the Orient-Express, and on the same dates. What will Barnie do? Who will he choose to go with? After thinking that going with Lucie could actually save his marriage, problems are not over: Margot and Mark both show up at Barnie and Lucie's house, pretending to be a couple, and asking Barnie for some explanations. Which he obviously can't give... Written by
I expected the worse from "Barnie". Maybe because of Fabrice Luchini, a very french actor who always play the same part: himself. But this time he gets away from his usual "parisian-intimist" movies to bring us a real comedy. And for once, you laugh; not the cheesy way, not the Rohmerian-intellectual way but in a spontaneous way that makes you feel good and reconciliates you with french cinema (as it still remains VERY french).
Thanks to first time writer-director Bruno Chiche who just found the right balance between subtlety and fun, the film doesn't hesitate to go further than the average "marivaudage" film. And if the first part of the film in London with all its coincidences is a bit artificial, the second part in Barnie's house makes you forgive it as it solves everything in a few delightful scenes. The third part in the Orient Express is by far the weakest to me. It seems as if director Chiche absolutely wanted his movie to end as a Capra comedy, but his cynical character shouldn't have had a chance, and if so, then he should have been given a chance get from the audience a bit of compassion.
Anyway you get out of the theater very satisfied. For a first film, Bruno Chiche shows a lot of ease in every kind of scene and gives a lot of rhythm to the whole film. He is very well helped with his cast that's true (except for Marie Gillain, even if very pretty), but his camera, when not inspired is always efficient. It has to be said as it is rare enough in a french comedy.
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