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The Price to Pay (2007)

Le prix à payer (original title)
A wealthy businessman takes advice from his chauffeur on how to put the spark back into his marriage.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jean-Pierre Ménard
...
Odile Ménard
...
Richard
...
Caroline
Patrick Chesnais ...
Grégoire
...
Justine Ménard
Maud Buquet ...
La prostituée
...
Agent immobilier
Jean-François Robin ...
Homme immobilier
Josselin de Tonquedec ...
Homme guichet métro
Charlotte Gerbault ...
Femme guichet métro
Carmelita Tuazan ...
Mel
Antoine Smadja ...
Barman
Emilie Lafarge ...
Jacqueline
Philippe Breton ...
Automobiliste énervé
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Storyline

Jean-Pierre, a wealthy businessman, is lonely. He still desires his wife but she only seems interested in shopping and the beauty salon. Tired of lunching alone every day, one day he decides to invite his chauffeur to join him, and a relationship quickly develops as the two find they have much in common. Are they just cash machines for their wives? Don't they deserve some love (ie sex) in return? Jean-Pierre confiscates his wife's credit card, but things don't turn out exactly the way he'd hoped.... Written by Graham Inglis

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Comedy

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Release Date:

4 April 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El precio a pagar  »

Box Office

Budget:

€11,700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Trivia

Filming lasted 47 days. See more »

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User Reviews

 
« Pas de c**, pas de cash »
5 July 2010 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

The title means, "No a**, no cash." The sense conveyed by those words pretty handily sums up the light-but-heavy nature of this film. Jean-Pierre has it all: successful career, beautiful wife, pretty daughter, lots of money, a fabulous apartment and a personal driver to boot. And like so many people of his station in life, he is unhappy.

The reason: his wife, Odile, is also unhappy with their marriage. However, she does not show her unhappiness; she simply casts it aside by not putting out and by going about her lunching and shopping. After seven years of this, Jean-Pierre has had enough. He lets his problems slip to his chauffeur Richard, who has a similar problem, sans argent. But Richard knows what he WOULD do if he had money--and he suggests Jean-Pierre do the same.

Bye, bye, carte bleue (the universal French debit card) ! The premise is entertaining and the actors are excellent. The visuals are not spectacular for a film set in the Paris region, but that fits quite well with the theme: nouveaux riches with too much money, too much time, no taste at all and in general no substance, virility or profondeur. On the whole, the Ménard foyer is one of materialism and avoidance--thus the source of the problem.

However, the poor man doesn't get off any better: between Richard's misplaced machism and unwillingness or inability to communicate on complex ideas and Caroline's inflated ego and voluntary emotional detachment, that marriage is also on the rocks.

The longer the film goes on, though, the more it suffers: the premise is comic enough but the themes and the substance are very heavy, and the ultimate development of events leads to something that simply cannot be swallowed comically. The last third or so of the film would work much better as a melodrama, but it is not properly executed as such.

The ending is a welcome positive note, but on the whole I have to think that this would have been much better had it been shot on a more up-scale, serious, "classical" level.


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