6.5/10
704
12 user 7 critic

French Film (2008)

A comedy about how French and English cultures differ in their attitudes on relationships.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Bowler
Benjamin Bellecour ...
Young Parisian Man
...
Jed
...
Young Parisian Woman
...
Cafe customer
Marie-Gaëlle Cals ...
French Apartment Woman
...
Thierry Grimandi
Nichola Christie ...
Counselling Woman
...
Bike Thief
...
Alain
...
Sophie
Jose Estudillo ...
Irate Postman
...
Cheryl
...
Marcus
David Matthews ...
Counselling Man
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Storyline

Jed prepares to interview French cineaste and self-appointed expert on the nature of love - Thierry Grimandi. The worldly and somewhat jaded Jed is dead-set on dismissing the auteur's musings as pompous and, well French, until his own relationship with Cheryl starts to fall apart and he is forced to re-evaluate the illusive subject. Soon everyone is talking about love: his relationship counselor, drinking buddy Marcus and Marcus' girlfriend SophieBeginnings, endings, tricks...could the French be on to something? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Could it be that French is the true language of love?

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

31 August 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

French Film  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Dekalog (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were My Daddy
Written by Turner and Johnson
Performed by Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson
Published by Universal/MCA Music Ltd
Licensed courtesy of JSP Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Confused and mediocre film
2 October 2015 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I won't bother describing the plot here, as that can be found everywhere else on this page. I just want to add that many reviewers appear to have missed two giant holes in the heart of this movie.

The first is that Grimandi, the French film maker, played by Eric Cantona, is at the same time presented as a parody of a Frenchman, and as the all-knowing hero on the issue of love.

And so we have two couples from the British Isles, fairly stereotypical in their stuck-upness (apart from Irishman Marcus, who, frankly, appears rather mad) falling in love and rediscovering their passion for life, inspired by the completely inane musings of chain-smoking Grimandi, which are, even as they are parodied, taken as the gospel.

If the movie had taken some of Grimandi's advice with a grain of salt, or at least cast doubt on it, the audience would have been pushed to make up its own mind over its merits. As it is it's accepted hook-line and sinker, and hence the movie comes across as naive and one-dimensional. Are the Brits that gullible and naive and desperate for love to accept anything a Frenchman says on the topic?

This relates to the second hole, which is that it is true that the French culture in general (I live in France, so should know) seems to be in the thralls of one particular kind of love, romantic love. So intense, passionate feelings are sought and celebrated, falling in love is glorified and often happens despite oneself, and even the law here allows for 'crime of passion' as a defence.

There's a lot to be said for the idea of following one's passion and letting things hang loose and not be so stuck up and repressed, but at the same time many wiser people have noted that none of these things have anything to do with love in the deeper sense, ie what the Greeks call agape, and which has to do with responsibility, commitment, kindness, caring, understanding, and so on.

Instead Grimaldi, and with that the movie, glorifies what can also be described as hormone-driven infatuation. Even a light, humorous movie like this could have played on this theme a bit. But it didn't. So yes, the movie did make me think, but not in the way the makers intended, I'm sure!


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