Interesting premise, but Klapisch is definitely no Capra
I had not great expectations for 'Ma part du gâteau'. France, 42, raising her 4 daughters alone, loses her job and goes on to work as a maid for a big bad trader. The premise seemed interesting and Klapisch certainly knows how to tell simple stories in a lively manner. But the title is really dumb and dull and I was unable to remember it for the couple of weeks prior to release. Klapisch's trademark is to use simple titles borrowed from popular phrases, but My Piece of Cake/Taking My Cut is not a visually stimulating simple idea, it's only a flat commonplace.
Directors back in the Studio System could moan about not being responsible for a bad title. Klapisch, after a decade of well-deserved success, enjoys total creative control, so the title is his mistake. And it perfectly stands for the big flaws, the failure to build up something really engaging on this interesting premise.
Lazy comes to my mind, yet that may be too harsh on Klapisch. He excels at brisk light comedies and may well have gone out of his league here in this attempt at social satire. If you look back at Klapisch movies, starting with 'Le Péril Jeune', you realize their strength is simplicity and rhythm. He tried his style on something more serious and under delivers. Worse, he totally misses the mark.
Lazy is however the right word for an 'auteur' who earned his spot at the top, with the power to shoot whatever he wants. OK, fashionable 'auteurs' like Cédric Klapisch end up working with too many yes-men, leaving them with little challenging creative opportunities, but that's laziness all the same. Laziness to come up with such a flimsy script on such a challenging subject matter, and laziness to cast the bland Gilles Lellouche as the hyper-realistic financial shark that should have been too fascinating for our own good.
If it's not laziness, that means Klapisch has risen to his level of incompetence and will only be able to dish out the same youthful light comedies again and again.
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