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Romantics Anonymous (2010)
"Les émotifs anonymes" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 6,081 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 24 user | 79 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

What happens when a man and a woman share a common passion? They fall in love. And this is what happens to Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, and Angélique, a gifted ... See full summary »

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Title: Romantics Anonymous (2010)

Romantics Anonymous (2010) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lorella Cravotta ...
Lise Lamétrie ...
Swann Arlaud ...
...
Stéphan Wojtowicz ...
Jacques Boudet ...
...
Céline Duhamel ...
Philippe Fretun ...
Maxime, un émotif anonyme
Grégoire Ludig ...
Julien, un émotif anonyme
Philippe Gaulé ...
Philippe, un émotif anonyme
Joëlle Séchaud ...
Joëlle, une émotive anonyme
Isabelle Gruault ...
Sylviane, une émotive anonyme
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Storyline

What happens when a man and a woman share a common passion? They fall in love. And this is what happens to Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, and Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker he has just hired. What occurs when a highly emotional man meets a highly emotional woman? They fall in love, and this is what occurs to Jean-René and Angélique who share the same handicap. But being pathologically timid does not make things easy for them. So whether they will manage to get together, join their solitudes and live happily ever after is a guessing matter. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

25 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anonyme romantikere  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director in the making of on the DVD, the film has the "slowest car chase in movie history". See more »

Quotes

Jean-René Van Den Hugde: Oh well. Phew!
Le psychologue: What do you mean, "Phew"?
See more »

Connections

References The Sound of Music (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are My Destiny
Written and Performed by Paul Anka
(1957)
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User Reviews

 
Our full house audience had a ball with this one
25 March 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The very words "Romantic Comedy" now inflict feelings of dread upon any sober moviegoer, especially those with a stereotypical girlfriend to entertain. Just like the musical genre was once an intelligent and stylistic way of telling an emotionally complex story, but has since become the theatrical equivalent of a mindless action blockbuster, so too has the romantic comedy lost its exciting inventiveness.

Although, an unimaginably long time ago, the mixture of colourful romance and witty humour that has the two feeding off and enriching each other was successfully used to create one delightful story. It was about a shy, hapless young bachelor who comes across a seemingly cold, unfeeling and cantankerous young woman. Under ordinary circumstances, they would never even care to look at each other, but there something unusual and convenient happens that allows the man to get up close and personal with the woman, and eventually her heart is softened and the man starts to overcome his social anxieties. Yet, alas, the truth is unravelled about this unusual and convenient event and the two are torn apart because the girl is too upset to hear an explanation, and the man is too lazy to persist and prefers to mope around at a pub where someone is playing a slow, sad tune on the piano. Luckily, the leads' wisecracking best friends are there to set them back on track and deliver a happy ending.

I'm sure this story delighted its original audience, however, since then no other story has been created using that promising combination of humour and love, but this same story has been recycled over a hundred times since, rendering the source indiscernible, and slaughtering the impact.

Thank goodness that Jean-Pierre Améris has been much more proactive and free-thinking in his approach to co-writing and directing Les émotifs anonymes, where both the guy and the girl are shy, hapless, embarrassed romantics. Although such a twist might seem like the sort of cheesy gimmick usually employed by the money-grubbing directors of a superfluous Hollywood sequel, it's surprising how much it changes and refreshes the dynamic, and how much Améris allows it do so.

Whilst he inevitably lets in some aspects of that dreaded, overused narrative, he has the courage to put down the rulebook and fly solo for quite a few scenes. Most notably, after the disastrous first date, where the ceaselessly paranoid but adorable middle-aged Jean-René Van Den Hugde (Benoît Poelvoorde) abruptly jumps ship in a fit of nerves, his lovely but hopelessly jittery employee Angélique Delange (Isabelle Carré) doesn't say a bad word against him. "Je suis nul" ("I'm hopeless") she repeats to herself after every one of these debacles, believing that she is the maniac who keeps scaring off this perfectly normal, friendly old man. Conversely, Jean-René scolds himself just as harshly. Therefore, the situation is both tragic and enjoyably ironic, giving the audience plenty of opportunities to sob and chuckle heartily. Thankfully though, these complications are never frustrating, because they are believable and in many ways relatable, and because Améris and co-screenwriter Philippe Blasband aren't delving into a bottomless bag of improbable plot points.

Another effort worth mentioning is the simultaneous capture of the joys of chocolate and the passion and ingenuity that goes into the craft, showing an impressiveness willingness to tackle more than one piece of subject matter, and not just for future plot conveniences. However, they do interconnect in quite a clever way. Mlle Delange is a uniquely talented chocolatier, but her debilitating social difficulties make it impossible for her to discuss any of her methods, or accept the fulsome praise that critics are desperate to give her, so she invents a hilariously wacky scenario in order to distance herself from her creations. The audience feels just as much frustration for her lack of recognition as they do for the countless misunderstandings between her and René, and for René's incredibly clumsy business operation of the chocolate company for which they both work, and that is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, despite the efforts of his very kindly employees and supporters.

If the story that I am describing doesn't sound particularly amusing, and just unusual and dismal, then that is perhaps for the best for humour is ultimately inexplicable, and if explained in advance it spoils the unconscious reaction of gleeful laughter. All I can tell you is to trust the French to take a quirky story and make it funny, moving and meaningful all at once. The main method Améris employs in order to achieve this balance is to ensure that the audience is familiar with the characters and feels sympathetic towards them before he dares to start mixing in anything sentimental, so that the audience isn't suddenly asked to take seriously the soulless clowns whose misfortune they have just been delighting in. Finally, as well as this nice and even consistency of hilarity and comparative solemnity, he recognises that a few well-timed, irresistible French renditions of the song I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music (1965) can't hurt, but that is the only surprise I'm willing to give away.


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