Justine, a defiant young woman, navigates the madness of love and family in fast-paced contemporary Paris and flits from one boyfriend to the next while her immature father secretly befriends them all.
Paris, nowadays. Justine is 27, works at an x-ray lab and has a real problem with commitment. She leaves behind a trail of ex-boyfriends. In fact, she just dumped the latest one, Atom, and is now crashing on her sister's couch. She's just met Sami, who could be The One. But this delicate balance is thrown when her immature, 60-years-old father announces that he and wife number 3 are expecting a baby. Rather than give Sami a chance, Justine focuses on the x-ray creations she secretly produces at her lab.Written by
Mélanie Laurent seemed so fresh and charming in "Beginners" that we thought we'd give this one a try. Here she plays a character, Juliette, so hard-workingly quirky and self-absorbed that very little charm shows through; Michel Blanc is more appealing as Eli, her neglectful but repentant garmento father, but writer-director Jennifer Devoldère's Parisian version of Jewish humor seems pale and derivative compared to just about any of our own homegrown varieties (not sure why the subtitlist translated "schmuck" as "schwanz," btw). The comic fantasy aspects of the script seem too silly and contrived to bear any emotional weight; students of brand-name humor in the Eurozone may appreciate the feeble riffs on Starbucks vs. Illy, Crocks, Ebay and Dr. Dre, others not so much. Helpful suggestion—"Beginners" turns up on cable from time to time and is available from Netflix on Blu-ray and DVD.
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