6.3/10
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Une femme de ménage (2002)

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... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jacques
...
Laura (as Emilie Dequenne)
Brigitte Catillon ...
Claire
Jacques Frantz ...
Ralph
Axelle Abbadie ...
Hélène
...
Constance
Apollinaire Louis-Philippe Dogue ...
Ernest, le barman
Amalric Gérard ...
Julien
Laurence Colussi ...
La femme à la terrasse
Djura ...
La chanteuse
Nathalie Boutefeu ...
La jeune fille au concert
Xavier Maly ...
Assistant de Jacques
Abel Nahmias ...
Le voisin
Daniel Humair ...
Musicien (as H.U.M.)
Emilhenco ...
Musicien (as H.U.M.) (as Rene Urtreger)
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity and brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Housekeeper  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,511,182 (France) (15 November 2002)

Gross:

$455,026 (USA) (7 November 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At the end of the film, goes for a swim. When she returns to the beach, she is wearing a completely different bathing suit. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Only the French can make movies like this
4 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I almost gave up on this one forty minutes in. Don't you do that. The ending is superb.

Premise: working class girl gets dumped by her boyfriend and seeks work by housekeeping.

Well, that can lead to something better if you keep house for the right person.

Jacques (Jean-Pierre Bacri) who recently got walked out on by his wife, and who, not so incidentally looks sixty--well, fifty-five--(actually he was barely fifty when this was made, but you get the point) gets his ad for a housekeeper answered by Laura (Emilie Dequenne) who is twentysomething--a young twentysomething.

I guess there is not much else to say, and to be honest I decided I would force myself to watch the inevitable. But the director is Claude Berri who directed two of the best movies I ever saw: Manon of the Spring (1986) and Jean De Florette (1986).

And so I stayed with it. At about the fifty minute mark the movie started to get interesting. I could feel that old guy/young girl love affair was going to take an unexpected fork in the road. (As Yogi said, if you come to a fork in the road, take it. The players have no choice.) Obviously, old guy/young girl can end only one way: young girl leaves old guy for young guy. This is biology. It will be painful.

Claude Berri knows all this, and probably a lot better than I do. And so guess what? Well, I won't tell. But you will find that the last thirty-some minutes of this sexy romantic comedy delightful, and especially the very, very clever and most satisfying ending.

Just prior to that Laura asks Jacques for his blessing. He won't give it, but she is right: he should. And then when we get the final "life is so...lifelike" grimace on Jacques's face, we can only smile.

Emilie Dequenne is delightful as the strangely wise and very natural Laura, and Jean-Pierre Bacri is winning as the old guy who knows better, but on reflection should thank his lucky stars.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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