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Forget Meg Ryan, forget Julia Roberts...This is romantic comedy at its best! Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno are outstanding. The plot is more than original and, better, convincing. I fell in love with the story but even more with the characters and their lives. Nothing in them seems "plastic". Although one knows that the end will be a happy one, the plot is so convincing that the end does not come as if was predicted. Each scene is so natural and revealing that it keeps you asking for more. I seriously do not understand the poor reviews it has gotten here. Could it be a little bit of jealousy because it is a foreign film from a country with no tradition in this genre but that nonetheless achieves what most American romantic comedies don't? I cannot explain it otherwise.
French films are characterized by dialog and this film is no exception.
The setting is clever - not really a modern adaptation of The VIP's,
but on that order (and more down to earth). The situation is funny and,
in the cell phone era, one to which we might all relate. (Of course, I
assume not many people lose their cell phones à la Juliette Binoche.)
A fan of both Binoche and Reno, I find both charming and the chemistry between them very real. Binoche's beautician is also far more interesting, and less stereotypified, than American film portrayals (Fran Drescher, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Coolidge...)
Not one of the great French films by any means, but I still give this one 8/10.
How could you star Julliet Binochet and Jean Reno in a light romantic comedy version of Before Sunrise and not have one of the best light romantic comedies of all time? You can't. Two people meet under hectic circumstances, to say the least. They make every mistake. Do everything wrong. Even Paris is against them. But, somehow, love finds a way. Julliet Binochet, almost unrecognizable during the first half of the film because she is buried under makeup and an odd hair style, is totally delightful and stunning, especially when she finally appears with no makeup and wet hair. That she does so well with comedy should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen her work. Jean Reno, who is like a French Clint Eastwood, is even better at comedy than he is doing action or drama, and he excels at both. If you've been longing for some romantic comedy, especially good romantic comedy, check out Jet Lag. I loved it.
I can see how this movie would be an easy target for criticism. It might
appear fluffy and without depth, sort of easy and implausible.
But I think it's better than that. First of course, are the performances. Both actors are terrific and both have long been favorites of mine. A special call-out, though, has to go to Binoche, who just couldn't be any more delightful. An absolutely fantastic actress. She's so wonderful, the only problem in the movie is why doesn't he fall in love with her any faster?
Second is the basic intelligence of the dialog. The conversations are very engaging, occasionally wry, sometimes sweet, with some sharpness along the way.
Finally, there is a meditation in here on film in general, and romantic comedies in particular. The movie is able to move back a bit, consider itself, and resist the temptation to be cynical.
`Jet Lag' is a French romantic comedy that takes place almost entirely in an
airport terminal and an airport hotel. Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno are
two strangers who meet at the Paris airport and end up sharing a room when
all flights are cancelled due to an air traffic controllers strike (think of
how this affair would have been thwarted had Reagan been France's president
at the time!). Rose and Felix are both riddled with insecurities and
anxieties, having been largely unlucky in the ways of love. Yet, after some
predictable initial tension between them, they somehow manage to find a
mutual strength and attraction - in their combined weaknesses.
`Jet Lag' is so simple and unassuming in its early stages that we are amazed to discover, about a third of the way through, just how completely it has managed to sneak up on us and win us over. Unlike most American romantic comedies, `Jet Lag' allows its characters to actually talk and get to know one another. It sure doesn't hurt, of course, that Binoche and Reno are such talented, attractive performers who establish an astonishing rapport in their scenes together. Sure, the plotting isn't exactly believable, but when is that ever the case in a film of this type anyway? The thing that matters is that we like the people we have become involved with and that we can accept, if only for just a moment, the possibility that they might be able to find happiness together. That is certainly the case in this film. (If there is a criticism to be leveled against the film, it is that it is simply too short, clocking in at barely over 80 minutes. How many films can one say THAT about?).
`Jet Lag' could have been a completely insubstantial little film; instead, it resonates with a joyfulness and charm that truly captivate the viewer. This is a winner well worth checking out.
"Décalage Horaire" or "Jet Lag" premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in
Danielle Thompson's "Decalage Horaire" is a simple, yet not necessarily simplistic, ode to love. The story concerns two opposites who meet at Charles de Gaulle Airport during a strike. They are constantly thrown together by fate ending up spending a night together (sex does not enter the equation) and during the course of their wait realising they have more in common than they thought.
Félix (Jean Reno) is a French man living in the US. He is chasing after a woman he belives he still loves. Rose (Juliette Binoche) is a Beautician who has a one-way ticket to Mexico, she is desperately running away from a man she no longer loves.
As Félix, Reno gives a sullen performance as a man on the edge, caught between the chronic boredom of his life and the disappointment of a failed romance. His chemistry with Binoche is magnetic, and surprising, it's so much stronger than the Binoche-Depp pairing of Chocolat.
The revelation of the film however is Juliette Binoche' terrific turn as Rose. The beautician who hides behind a mask of colouful makeup and only becomes truly beautiful the day she removes it.
Binoche in her first successful comic role (in Chocolat afterall she was a more tragic figure) succeeds in creating a wonderfully funny and charming young woman, with an endearingly vunerable side. Time after time Reno feeds her the lines and she returns with the best moments of the film. Two parts which stand out are when Felix assumes Rose is a prostitute and when she discusses her make-up routine with him. Binoche will probably be César nominated for her role, and because this is such a change in direction for her she may even win.
The best thing about "Décalage Horaire" is that it is not merely sentimental, it's ironic tone is winning and much more interesting. Thompson's assured directon shows signs of maturity since "La buche", while her writing is as astute as ever.
The ending in mexico to the strains of Macy Gray's redoubtable "I try" is a memorable ending, for it's immediacy and it's pure sheer pleasure.
Viva la Binoche!
This delicious, light, romantic comedy is full of surprises and
Witfully written and superbly acted, it shows why Juliette Binoche is such a great asset to modern cinema. Outstanding chemistry with Reno makes this theatrical play made into a movie a rewarding experience to be treasured. Juliette Binoche shows her talent in a totally different role to most of the ones she has played before, she is a common girl with many problems and yet her nobility and class shine through. If you like Binoche you will love Jet lag. Don't miss it.
Jet Lag is a romantic comedy. It follows all the usual routes, but offers
great acting and good humour all the way.
Juliette Binoche is Rose, a thirtysomething who is finally taking control of her life and leaving her abusive boyfriend Sergio (Sergi Lopez).
Jean Reno is Felix. A frazzled businessman on his way to re-kindle his romance with an old flame.
However when a strike and fog halt all flights in Charles de Gaulle the two meet cute and end up spending the evening together. Of course we know they are made for each other, but thats not the point. Its not where they end up its how they get there.
Jet Lag opens with huge energy and a real sense of airport chaos. It then focuses in on the duo in on a hotel room as they spend time together trading insults and exchanging banter. The dialogue is sparkling and the performances spot on.
Then ineveitably their planes take off and they go their seperate ways... or do they?
Thompsons film is a breath of fresh air with Juliette Binoche a revelation in a totally "un-binoche" role. She is cheap and common with a heart of gold. Reno is very much her comic foil, and glerefully allows her the lime light.
Jet Lag is a refreshing take on an old format. It will not suffer on the small screen either so catch it on DVD!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Movies are personal experiences. Jet Lag touched my emotions. If you're
patient, you might be rewarded too. I say patient because it's a
foreign film; unless you're fluent in the language, reading subtitles
detracts from the performance. Rewarding because the acting is superb.
Fortunately, the English language dubbing for the film was done by the
lead actors themselves. So if you choose, you can watch Jean Reno and
Juliette Binoche act out their parts, free from translation.
The story itself is slight and critics found the Paris airport setting contrived. But the film's director, Daniele Thompson, sees loneliness in the crowds there. In an interview, she says, Life comes to a standstill in airports. People can become vulnerable in the forced cessation of familiar routines. The situation allows her to explore the romantic possibilities between total strangers. Enter Rose and Felix, a beautician and a chef become businessman. In the style common to romantic comedy, coincidences bring and keep them together. Here, the chance meetings serve a twofold purpose: to depict their differences and also allow each to catch inadvertently personal glimpses of the other's life. Like the most modern of men, Felix conducts his affairs over a cell phone. En route to a funeral in Munich, he's preoccupied with launching a new line of frozen food products. Rose is fragile, seeking a new life in Mexico and leave behind a man, who required her to abort their child. The story arc builds to a room service dinner in the Airport Hilton.
It's prickly. Simple disagreements over the food--mostly uneaten--become confrontations of character. When Felix inquiries about her sex life, Rose divines the meaning of his invitation to dine together. She voices the potential of the occasion. "Let's take advantage of this situation," she says. "We'll never meet again. So go ahead and ask me all the questions you're burning to ask." Felix does so then invites Rose to do the same. It gets personal. She takes her leave. By contrast, Felix has been taken utterly by surprise. Rose's fragility is matched by a simple strength of character. He rushes after, demanding to know her plans. "I'm going home," she says. Felix is infuriated, thinking she's retreating in confusion. He stops her. Gaining access to the hotel kitchen, he cooks fresh food for them both, while telling his life story. In the middle, he stops and asks, "Are you staying or going? What's the current trend?"
The best stories have self-revelation about them. Here, total strangers make the most of an opportunity to engage in some soul searching, which under other circumstances they might well avoid. When their flights are finally called, they part company as people transformed by a shared experience. Each goes on to make a meaningful change in life. The performances make it all believable and I found it great fun to see people acting with an enlightened sense of themselves. It seems such a rare thing; neurosis is the order of the day. So I watched closely: engaged by the adult themes and fascinated by accomplished actors expressing subtle emotions in a romantic comedy.
One of my favorites scenes occurs at the end in the Acapulco airport. Rose is met with a note, containing a cell phone PIN number. In one wordless moment, her face passes from puzzlement to epiphany as she realizes the only logical explanation. Others who've commented on this film note how lovingly a camera can dwell on Ms. Binoche. Beyond her beauty, there's a distinct emotional intelligence. In an interview, she notes Jet Lag was her first romantic comedy. "I took the opportunity as a gift, and every time I see Daniele, I thank her."
Speaking personally, I've never seen her or Jean Reno so at ease with their clear abilities. And the bit players fulfill their roles too. Witness Felix' father, as initial curiosity in his face turns to longing when he recognizes his son standing in the driveway. The abundance of good acting in this films brings me back to the beginning. The performances must be seen to be believed. Subtitles necessarily distract. Put it this way, if the players can't act, the observer misses nothing; but if they can, missing the performance becomes a personal loss.
Just as movies are personal, so is music. If you're susceptible to the moods music makes, you'll also be rewarded by Jet Lag's score. Ms. Thompson's choices combine American material from W. C. Handy to John Barry and the original work of a fine French composer named Eric Serra. The music resonates, especially towards the end. Two of the pieces employ the harmonica to underscore the poignancy of separation and feelings unspoken between the man and woman. Finally there's the memorable music over the closing credits. The piece is titled Vas Adelante, by M. Serra, with lyrics written and sung by Clementine Celarie. I don't pretend to understand the words, but the song sure makes a joyous sound. If you end up as captivated by it as I, a CD of the film score (not the soundtrack) was distributed in England & France. It contains M. Serra's compositions including the end title theme.
No one seems to have noticed that this is a French romantic comedy
meditating on Hollywood. It's pretty explicit, it seems to me, when we
with a reference to Pretty Woman and end with the theme from Midnight
Cowboy. I think that Jean Reno is doing a pretty witty Dustin Hoffman,
Juliette Binoche is Julia Roberts as Midnight Cowgirl.
What makes this movie stay with me is that the Jean Reno character is not only an inspired chef, he is all sensuality when he eats. And Juliette Binoche is not just a makeup artist, she is the determined maker of the scenes she finds herself appearing in.
We all want to fall in love. We are all frightened that the moment it happens is just another emotional trap. This movie says yes to both, and grab it while you can.
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