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Vilaine
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ugly Melanie More at IMDbPro »Vilaine (original title)

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Darn good farcical comedy not for the faint of heart. "Amelie" turns sour :)!

8/10
Author: R. Ignacio Litardo (lancaster@fibertel.com.ar) from Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 March 2010

Some films are born ordinary, others base their strength in the unusual. Vilaine is of the 2nd kind as you must have guessed.

Mélanie Lupin is the perfect actress for this, so much she seems to be born for the role. She's not that ugly, but the way she walks, talks and acts is what makes she darn... unpleasant. And that is enough for making her evil... in a very funny way.

Beautifully ugly Frédérique Bel, from "Petits meutres en famille", "Drôle de Noël!" and others, is here again a hateful dumb leggy blonde. Blandine is even better, with her shrill voice and the most kitsch of museums as her legacy. And Jessica, my God. The dumbest being around, vulgar, and pretty nice, an explosive combination :)! If you are familiar with French TV, it's particularly funny to see her participate in the popular TV questions programs like "Des chiffres et des lettres", with the real life conductors being put off by her utter stupidity. Jonathan (the hunk), Aymeric (the coveted eligible bachelor), Martinez! as the crass stingy boss who is really just a sorry chap. Melanie's mother and grandma are also great. My favourite scene is probably Blandine's nightmare, with the pensioners as the "Night of the living dead", a good metaphor of the sorry state of old people, even in advanced wealthy democracies. Same goes for ugly people.

Like on most well told stories, nothing is in vain. Innocent Drogba has no legal residence and can't read? Bear that in mind. An elephant ran away on Saint Valentine? It will be important later, believe it or not :). Creativity abounds in this film, like few others.

Music is extremely well chosen, it shows subtle knowledge and a great sense of humour.

Thanks to an IMDb reviewer I learn that Berry is a daughter of a well known actress, and it's no wonder. Don't miss the end credits, during the credits she shows she's really capable of doing ANYTHING funny :)!

Not for everybody, but don't miss this odd comedy!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Melanie laughed last

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
2 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Melanie has a big problem. She came too late as beauty was being handed out. Because of her lateness, she has to struggle in order to make it through life because there are always those more fortunate friends who think nothing about making Melanie the butt of all their cruelty. When we meet her, she is working at a small bistro where her sleazy boss thinks she is a slave. Melanie and her undocumented Senegalese co-worker have to carry on with the business.

To add insult to injury, there are a trio of Melanie's so-called friends that get a kick out of tormenting Melanie. Aurore, who acts as the leader of friends, is getting married soon. The others, Blandine and Jessica, go along for the fun of it. One day Melanie decides to put an end to the cruel jokes she has endured from the three bitches, and decide to get her own revenge, which is nothing more than asserting herself, proving to her so-called friends she put one over them. She will not be mocked anymore, not by these idiots, or her boss.

In the meantime, Melanie is puzzled by a secret admirer who has been sending her beautiful flowers. However much she tries to find out about his identity, she gets nowhere. So, it comes to a complete surprise when she finds who her admirer is, almost losing him in the process. Melanie turns out to be the one who laughed last in this funny movie.

The film boasts two directors: Jean-Patrick Benes, and Allan Mauduit, who also are the authors of the screenplay in which the film is based. In a way, the film kept reminding us of the American television sitcom, "Ugly Betty", which in turn is a remake of a Colombian original program "Betty, la fea", a big hit throughout Latin countries. But the comparisons end right there. The premise is basically the same, a non too well put together woman must suffer the jokes and injustices of being the butt of the more fortunate women, which is the case of Melanie.

The creators of the film were lucky in getting Marilou Berry, who is the daughter of Josiane Balasko and Phillippe Berry and the niece of actor Richard Berry. The actress has an uncanny resemblance to her more famous mother, but she is the main reason for watching this French comedy; she steals the picture because in spite of her desire of avenging herself, she is not a mean person. Her Melanie just wants to be left alone to do with her life what she wants. Frederique Bel, Pierre Francois Martin-Laval, Josephine De Meaux, and Alice Pol, do great supporting work.

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While the film has a few lulls here and there, it's a pleasant view.

7/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
26 June 2015

Melanie is a sad lady. She's not particularly attractive and she's a pushover with everyone she knows. They know she's 'nice' and everyone takes advantage of her--her neighbor, her boss...even her own family. It's been this way her whole life. However, when her horrible cousin and her no-good friends decide to play a horrible 'joke' on her, Melanie snaps. No more Miss Nice...now she's out for herself and to give everyone a bit of payback.

I generally liked this film, but must say that it was a bit uneven. Some of Melanie's actions are funny and easy to justify, though her cruelty towards animals is odd and disturbing. Being cruel towards the jerks around her was easy to enjoy...seeing her keep a cat in a covered trashcan for a couple days and tie a dog's leash to a bus' bumper seemed over the top and didn't fit with the character. Still, on balance it was quite good.

By the way, another French film that has some similarities but is far superior is "Tatie Danielle". This wicked old lady is MUCH worse than Melanie but NEVER was nice. And, she's SO over the top mean that the overall film is hilarious and quite entertaining.

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A funny film for all

8/10
Author: Luigi Di Pilla from Riehen, Switzerland
4 October 2014

VILAINE is another funny film made in France. I have seen this film for the first time on a French cable TV. My wife was so excited after the end that she decided to buy quick the DVD.

The script is simply and there are many funny scenes where I laughed a lot with my family. Marilou Berry was great in this role but the other actors delivered a good job too.

This is a must see. I don't agree with the underrated votes on this site. It merits at least a solid 8 out 10.

If you liked it I recommend you RIEN A DECLARER, BIENVENU CHEZ LES CHTI's, LA PREMIERE ETOILE or L'ENQUETE CORSE.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

This Worm IS For Turning

7/10
Author: writers_reign
29 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Marilou Berry has inherited her mother's looks, build and acting talent though mum, of course, also writes and directs; maybe in time Marilou will try her hand at the other two disciplines but meantime she shows here that she can carry a movie alone. She plays Melanie, a girl working in a restaurant attached to a filling station, fine, dependable and generally all-round good egg until she decides enough is enough and allows her dark side to fight its way to the surface. We are, remember, talking comedy here so don't expect too great an about turn but one of the highlights is when Melanie handcuffs bride-to-be Fredericque Bel - about the only other person in the cast I've seen previously - already in her wedding dress, to a radiator. Actually I lied, that in itself is not a highlight, what IS is when Bel yanks the radiator off the wall and turns up in the church for the ceremony still wearing it. Pleasant, undemanding fare but Josie can be proud of her kid.

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2 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Unpleasant

1/10
Author: Julian Bata
10 February 2011

Okay, so in french class, the teacher made us watch this film called "La Vilaine". I had no expectations, and it was a comedy, so I brought those low expectations to an impossibly low level (not a fan of french humor). However, I was still disappointed, and here's why: The lead character is a cold, heartless, and overall mean-spirited bitch. Okay, so maybe she's been wronged in the past (in ways that are already too cruel to be realistic), but then she goes to the extreme, treating EVERYONE like a pile of crap. The only reason why you'd want to motivate her is because ALMOST everyone takes advantage of her, and so she only gets revenge on those who wronged her, right? Nope, she throws a kitten into the garbage can, barfs into he garbage can after eating too many chocolates (which were delivered by a boy who she slapped in the face, along with other forms of abuse which should get her arrested), tying her neighbor's dog to a bus because the neighbor made the lead character walk the dog every morning (so shouldn't the neighbor be getting punishment, not the helpless dog who doesn't understand what's going on?), and many other terrible things. The problem is that we're supposed to root for her, but the title makes it very apparent that SHE is the villain. Her behavior has no middle ground: she's either far too nice, or just way too evil. Besides, for the most part, most of what she does isn't even justifiable, so she loses any form of sympathy we might have had for her. This film is absolute trite, the bare minimum of what can be achieved with film. In other movies like Taxi Driver, the character's surroundings are harsh and unwelcoming, but the character is likable enough to pull us through the experience. This is just an amateur effort, truly an awful and despicable experience. I'm surprised by some of the user reviews (all two of them), because they actually say that this was an above average movie, but let me tell you, I only got a few chuckles out of this film, and only because of how horrible the lead character was.

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