After his wife leaves him for another man, Jacques hires a housekeeper, Laura, to keep his Paris apartment in order. As he starts increasing her hours and spending more time with her on her...
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After his wife leaves him for another man, Jacques hires a housekeeper, Laura, to keep his Paris apartment in order. As he starts increasing her hours and spending more time with her on her days off, Jacques is torn between the pleasure of Laura's company, and the headache that such an intrusion brings to his new domain of singlehood. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
My 401st Review: Neither Modal Nor Major: an interesting premise, that delivers little
A broken-down man, Jean-Pierre Bacri, is a man in a mess, both figuratively and literally. His constant hangdog expression and the state of chaos needs help.
He advertises for a cleaner and Émile Duchenne turns up. The cleaner is young and naif, the older man is world-weary.
Claude Berri chooses to direct Une Femme De Ménage as a very small piece and from decidedly reactionary suppositions. I dislike the notion here that the male is booth the provider and wiser, and that women need men to be complete. It may be what the film is about, but it is almost 1950s-sexism and I, for one, couldn't really get past it.
All in all, while I got the text and the subtext here, and it does against its the normal conventions of romantic comedies very well, it doesn't quite get as beyond as it aims might suggest.
For this viewer the ennui was good but the apparent lack of commitment, followed by the transformation, followed by a good denouement never quite gels - there is something here that irritates rather than intrigues. It wants to improvise but feels still very scripted - it can't quite make the leap. What we get at the end is a film about life as solipistic unsatisfaction disguised as a romantic comedy, which is a nice idea, but the film never quite carries the strenght of its own convicitonss.
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