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The title means "The Heartbreaker." This charming and smoothly executed
if far-fetched farce/action/rom-com about a team of professional
marriage-derailers-for-hire has won rave reviews along with top box
office in France (Allociné critical rating 3.0 (72). As has already
been written in a US review, this is exactly the kind of thing
Hollywood loves to copy but never manages to do with the required
Gallic lightness and elegance. Actually there's a slight overload of
added slapstick and violence this time; still, the action movies on
such well-greased wheels and the actors perform with such dash, the
movie never ceases to entertain.
The premise: Duris and his sister (Julie Ferrier) and her husband (François Damiens) run an outfit specializing in breaking up impending weddings by showing the bride that her fiancé isn't as desirable a match as Duris. Duris, AKA Alex, withdraws with a touching story about how he's too heartbroken to be the one. Usually a rich father employs the team to perform this scam. Such is the case when Vanessa Paridis is about to marry Jonathan, a wealthy young Englishman (Andrew Lincoln). The job goes against Duris' basic rule never to break up a match when the couple is genuinely in love with each other -- as these two are. Also the deadline to stop the wedding is impossibly short. But the team takes it on nonetheless because of a major debt. Gangsters are threatening to do huge damage to Duris if he doesn't pay up very quickly.
Two gaps in the writing: it's not entirely clear why Paridis' father is so keen on destroying this match; and the team's elaborate high-tech methods are impossibly clever and complicated. However none of this is meant to be taken seriously. Much of the fun is in the ingenious tricks the team uses to follow Paradis' movements and give Duris opportunities to seduce her -- an outcome which she stubbornly resists till the very last moment. And then when she gives in, of course, he breaks another of his cardinal rules and falls in love with her; but it's all resolved in a lighthearted fashion.
A fun watch with definite US release potential, and in fact a US release is coming. Seen in Paris in April 2010 and again in a preview in NYC, when it seemed a little longer than it needed to be (there is a lot of repetition). But Duris' deftness as a comic actor, his physicality in the dancing bits, Paridis' charm and elegance, and François Damiens' sympathetic personality hold up and indeed inspire awe and admiration on repeat viewings.
I saw the movie last night and I really loved it. It's funny and smart.
Vanessa Paradis and Romain Duris form a very glamorous couple on screen
and the supporting roles (Julie Ferrier and François Damiens) are
great. The story is about Alex Lippi (Duris) a con man specialized in
breaking romances. He is hired by Juliette's father to prevent her from
marrying the wrong guy. The things is Alex has only one week to seduce
Juliette (Paradis) who doesn't seem to fall for any of his tricks...
If you're looking for a nice chick flick, you should definitely see this one!
And if you liked this movie, I recommend you another French romantic comedy called "Priceless" ("Hors De Prix") with Audrey Tautou which is very good as well.
I'm not into French cinema because I don't usually understand the jokes in them, but I went to see Heartbreaker last night for a special preview. I was completely surprised because it charmed me in the first five minutes and from then on it was an almost non-stop laughing, chuckling, cackling audience around me. I loved the storyline and the characters. Alex Lippi is a guy hired to seduce women and break up couples. When he is hired to sort out Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) 10 days before her wedding, he pulls out all the tricks from the hat but she doesn't fall for anything. Interestingly, the thing that it was in French made this movie work much better than a Hollywood version. I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was funny, witty, fresh, minus the clichés and cheap jokes.
PLOT: there is this agency (3 people working together: the main
character, a guy who seduces the women, and his sister and her husband
who help out in the background) that you can hire if you want to break
up a woman's relationship. A father hires them to prevent his daughter
from getting married, and they only have 10 days. They have to accept
the job even if it seems impossible because they absolutely need the
It was great movie that makes you laugh and leaves you with a smile. The characters were lovable, the story was really funny, the dialogs were entertaining, and you never get bored. I sometimes find the introduction of movies a bit tedious and it takes some time to really dive into the story, but this movie starts off just right, so that's a plus! It's a great french romantic comedy that flirts with some clichés but actually plays really well with them. The only thing that we were left wondering about were the bride's father motivation for hiring someone to ruin his daughter's wedding plans, but it doesn't actually matter in the grand scheme of things.
I'm no expert on rom-coms I have to say. I don't mind them particularly
you understand but I just don't tend to gravitate towards them. This of
course means that my views on Heartbreaker are not from the
point-of-view of a connoisseur of this genre. And from this perspective
I found it to be a perfectly pleasant way to spend an hour-and-a-half
of my time. While the story's trajectory did seem a little predictable,
the mixture of the romantic comedy with the 'heartbreaker' team seemed
to be coming from a new angle. It allowed the film to mix in some
action, gadgets and spy tactics into the romantic formula. And really
it works quite well all-in-all.
I found the characters to be likable and amusing. I enjoyed the Monaco scenery. And I was interested enough with the various methods the heartbreaker team employed to pull off their scam. While the film doesn't really explain very well why Vanessa Paradis's father does not want her to marry her fiancé, and her subsequent romance with her bodyguard isn't really very believable, it doesn't ultimately matter very much as the film's tone is playful and a bit silly, so lack of believability isn't exactly a deal-breaker here. Overall, Heartbreaker has most probably been so successful as it's a rom-com that guys and girls can both enjoy.
HEARTBREAKER ('L'ARNACOEUR') is a delightful bit of French fluff,
created as only the French know how. There are 'quotes' from certain
films and songs that mix the two main characters together and add to
the meringue of the farce. Based on a light story by Laurent Zeitoun,
Jeremy Doner, and Yhan Gromb and directed with a fine sense of comic
timing by Pascal Chaumeil, this is one of those examples of the farces
the French do so well.
Alex Lipp (Romain Duris), his sister Mélanie (Julie Ferrier) and her husband Marc (François Damiens) run a little business: they coordinate efforts to breakup undesired relationships for pay. After a few examples of how the trio works its magic, an assignment takes them to Monaco where they are hired to stop the marriage between Juliette Van Der Becq (Vanessa Paradis) and her wealthy humanitarian fiancé Jonathan Alcott (Andrew Lincoln) - in 10 days time! Alex is avoiding previous client debts represented by a bodyguard Goran (Jean-Marie Paris) but plunges into the formula courtship destruction mode with Juliette; the difference this time is that Juliette seems happily ensconced in the marriage plans and has little time for Alex's plans. But of course through the period of time allotted, Juliette finds qualities in Alex that are missing from her 'perfect' fiancé and Alex breaks his cardinal rule and falls in love with his marked client Juliette. The manner in which the story is resolved is clever and entertaining and heartwarming.
This may not be a great movie but it is a well-acted refreshing little romp to cleanse the palette! In French and English with subtitles. Grady Harp, November 10
This is a very good romantic comedy - probably the best French rom-com
since Hors De Prix (Which is my favourite French comedy of the decade)
- oodles of fun, high living, and then something unexpected - lots and
lots of heart.
We really enjoyed L'arnacoeur, sure it's unrealistic and yes it follows it's genre, but those are two reasons why it's great to watch - it is laugh out loud funny and smarter than it lets on - and the two leads work well together to produce a French comedy with wit, farce, and l'amour.
Compared to most rom-coms (Boy finds girl, loses girl, finds girl again) this is a league above, it's not cutesy, though it is over polished in places, but the plotting is smart, the leads have chemistry, and above all it about finding love and I, for one, give it a massive two thumbs up.
I had the chance of attending this film's premiere in Lisbon, that
counted with the director's presence. He was pleased that his main goal
of entertaining the audience was fulfilled. And that's just it.
Chaumeil hands us a smooth and enjoyable work, perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Nothing more than a funny and cool romantic comedy with subtle slashes of a different action because of the 'breaking relationships' plot, always in a soft touch. I point out the chemistry between the two main actors, one of the film's main qualities, and specially Romain Duris that is becoming an essential actor of french contemporary cinema, commercial as independent.
A 'feel-good' movie destined to amuse the public and that achieves well his mission in a dynamic and pleasuring way - 6/10.
One of the best films I've seen this year, combining a mix of romance,
hilarious comedy and surprisingly beautiful cinematography. The
connection between the two lead characters is fantastic, better than
what is usually served in most US rom coms.
I haven't seen a French film since Taxi came out years ago and went into the cinemas with a few lads who I watch films with every Sunday so was a little apprehensive if the film would actually make us laugh or not. No need to worry about that as we were all laughing out loud, indeed the whole audience was.
Given the simplicity of the storyline and slapstick humour at times I could have felt the film was a tad flat, lacking a refined edge almost. But I came out of the cinema feeling exactly the opposite having been swept up by the stunning shots surrounding the harbour at sunset, fantastic winding hilltop roads, even an empty bar looked stunning.
It's not the kind of film in which you wait for a twist in the end, you know what's going to happen, but the ride getting their is well worth it. It's one of those films which stays with you for days afterwards...man I wish was on holiday on the French coast right now!
The latest Romain Duris romantic comedy, which is a kind of backwards "Hitch" and it's even more fun. It takes a short while to establish the central cast of characters, but the premise is made clear right away. The leading man seduces women who are about to marry the "wrong" guy. He then steps out of the way, leaving the woman high and dry. Both the "wrong" engagement and his own new involvement are on ice.
This is more hilarious than such a formula film should be. It's a kind of escapist comedy, but with such good pedigree and filmmaking chops you really get swept away. Duris can be really a charmer, and his two sidekicks are hilarious as well as heartwarming.
The fact it's mostly set in Monte Carlo gives it a compact, glitzy charm (far more glitzy than Bahrain, for my money, speaking of money). The plot goes as planned at first, of course. But inevitably things go very wrong. After some last minute swerves and laughs, things seem to go right, until the final ending, which I'll leave to you. It really is like "Hitch" or "Failure to Launch," which set up a kind of protocol for how everyone should behave, and within that set of rules people misbehave. It's the latest kind of screwball comedy formula, and a dependable one, especially this well made.
Most of it is in French, but a bit is in English, too, for the subtitle averse. And all the music is in English (interestingly, but typically). But never mind too much. You could almost get it all without words. Funny, warm, witty, well made fluff stuff.
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