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A musical drawing room farce set in Paris in October, 1925. Gilberte, in middle-age, flirts with men but loves her husband Georges, wishing he were more demonstrative. He's negotiating a deal with an American, Eric Thomson, who turns out to be Gilberte's first husband from an annulled and secret stateside marriage. Along with her sister Arlette, Gilberte begs Eric not to tell Georges about the marriage. Meanwhile, a young artist, Charly, pursues Gilberte while Arlette tries to match him with the young Huguette, who loves him. Will Eric play along or try to re-win Gilberte's affection? Can Gilberte play one off against another? And who will manage to kiss whom on the lips? Written by
If I hadn't read his name on the DVD cover, I never would have suspected that this rather gushy and old fashioned musical was made by a man so closely associated with the French New Wave. In fact, the film is so far from that, that I wonder if back in the 50s and 60s, New Wave auteurs would have absolutely hated this type of film--it's so...so...unreal. And, it seems to have little to do with so many of his previous films. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--just a very surprising thing.
What I also found a bit surprising was the amount of praise some of the reviewers gave this film--especially when there are so many better French musicals out there. The songs in this film were simply not particularly interesting and the characters all seemed so bland and stereotypical. If I had to see another rich person who fretted about how hard it is to be rich or get a good sale price on a designer outfit, I was going to puke.
The bottom line is that like American musicals, not every French musical is gold. This film is not another "Les parapluies de Cherbourg" (UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG or "Huit Femmes" (EIGHT WOMEN) and despite the presence of Audrey Tautou, I can't see much reason to recommend it as anything other than a dull oddity.
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