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Bertrand Beauvois, a well-known attorney, is in Monte Carlo to defend a businessman's mother who murdered a gigolo with ties to gangsters. The businessman provides a bodyguard, Christophe, who is thorough and unsmiling. The middle-aged Beauvois is drawn to Audrey, in her 20s, free spirited, a local TV weather girl who once dated Christophe. Although Christophe warns Beauvois to stay away from Audrey, he's hooked and spends every moment with her he's not in court. What's her angle: is she a plant who'll ruin the case; is Beauvois her toy; is she digging for gold; or, is she genuine? Beauvois loves the wild sex but not her promiscuity. Has Christophe failed to protect him? Written by
With a title like "The Girl from Monaco", a picture of a bodacious babe on the cover, and a description about a neurotic lawyer defending a gangster's mother charged with the murder of a gigolo, I figured this would be a crazy comedy... something between "Legally Blonde" and "My Cousin Vinny" but in French. Boy was I wrong.
Certain filmgoers react negatively when they don't get what they expect. Me, I don't care as long as it's good. And this movie is definitely good. It begins with enough light-hearted comedy to draw you in at the opening scene. Other good laughs are peppered throughout the first half. But you soon realize that it's all a clever candy-coating, masking a dark, winding story beneath. In that respect, I'd compare it to "Art School Confidential" (2006) or "Jeux d'enfants" (2003) or even "Good Morning Vietnam" (1987) which begin as comedies but soon trick us down a different path.
If you go into this film with zero expectations, or better yet, expecting to be led to an unknown destination, I can't imagine you not liking this film. The acting is top notch, creating believable characters who are instantly likable despite their personality quirks. Even the Girl, who is basically a slut of the highest magnitude, comes across as cute, charming and breezy. It's hard not to see elements of the legendary Brigitte Bardot in her unapologetic sexuality.
And that's what this movie is really about: expression vs repression, openness vs modesty, freedom vs self-control. And we see the crazy results of people attempting to bridge between the two worlds. This movie is every bit as compelling as the Bardot films that first explored these sexually-charged themes almost 50 years ago. We see that they're still topical today.
A quick note about content... Even though this is a very sexual story, it's not too explicit, and I think there's only 1 brief nude scene (the girl topless in bed). Most of the steamy stuff is implied through dialogue.
Watch this back-to-back with the Bardot classics "And God Created Woman", "Night Heaven Fell", "Love is My Profession", and so on. Maybe you'll agree it's been a while since a director has been able to capture that same spirit. This movie is so much more than a comedy. Soooo much more.
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