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Olatz López Garmendia
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What makes a marriage? Georges and Natalie argue and shout constantly; Fred, a bachelor playboy approaching 50, sleeps with many women, loving them all, living with none. Vincent, nearing 40, best friend of Georges and Fred, is married to Gabrielle and they have a son. He keeps his feelings to himself. He and Gabrielle are playful and passionate with each other, then bored and detached. Is Vincent holding back, and if so, why? A colleague accuses him of believing in romantic fairy tales. Gabrielle imagines them separated. Are the basics of life women working and men chasing skirts? Is marriage the alternative to possibilities? Written by
They got married and had a child, but didn't live happily ever after
As much as one would like to respond to Ivan Attal's films, one is puzzled about his choice of material. M. Attal seems to be at the center of all his films, and that, perhaps, works against him, as it is one way to lose grasp on the subject that he, as a director is trying to present. Basically this is a film about duplicity and deceit. The cliché about the sexual French man is perpetuated here as we get to know Vincent, M. Attal's character.
If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you would like to stop here.
At the beginning of the picture we are taken to a club where we meet Gabrielle, a slim and elegant woman, who is being invited to a drink by the fellow to her left. At that same time Vincent suddenly appears at her side who ends up being rewarded in taking her home. We had no warning that they are a couple.
Vincent is seen lounging with two close friends, Georges, the hotel manager, and his coworker, Fred. Inevitably, when guys talk, the topic almost invariably is about women one, or perhaps, all of them have managed to take to bed. Fred, the homely one of this trio, seems to be the luckiest one. He can book afternoon and evening trysts. Our conclusion is either he knows how to please, or is enormously endowed.
Gabrielle and Vincent are an unhappily married couple. They are living together in the same apartment, but they are miles apart in mostly everything. There doesn't seem to be any love between them after a few years. Vincent loves to do practical jokes to both his son and to his wife. What Vincent doesn't tell his wife, or his buddies is that he is having his own love affair with a masseuse. Their passionate encounters reveal an incredible passion. One wonders how Vincent finds time from his job and from Gabrielle to be with wife and mistress, although Viagra might be one solution.
The only ray of hope in the film is when Gabrielle, shopping for music at the Virgin Megastore stops to listen a sample CD. As she is enjoying the song, a mysterious and handsome man stops at the same listening station to sample the same song. He disappears and she goes after him, but nothing happens. Then, at the end, she has an appointment to show an apartment and who happens to be the would be tenant? You guessed it! They are seen on the tiny elevator going up and up into a heavenly ride.
This is a film about miscommunication and one dimensional characters. Charlotte Gainsbourg, is always a welcome presence to any films. She projects intelligence in everything she does. Ivan Attal, as an actor is good. The friends Alain Chabat and Alain Cohen, as Georges and Fred do a fairly decent job. Emmanuelle Seigner doesn't have much to do. Angie David and Aurore Clement play Vincent's mistress and her mother. Claude Berri and Anouk Aimee are seen briefly as Vincent's parents without any justification, or perhaps, M. Attal is trying to show us that his parents by staying together for so many years are bored with one another as we don't see them exchange a word, or much less any loving glances as we watch them having dinner in a fancy restaurant.
Johnny Depp is seen effectively in his two scenes. He doesn't say much, only a couple of words, but he makes an impact that none of the other characters made during the film.
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