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In Biarritz with her elderly provider to celebrate her birthday, Irene slips down to the hotel bar when he falls asleep on her. She mistakes barman Jean for a well-healed guest and he encourages the deceit by taking her up to the Royal Suite for the night. A year later the same thing happens but this time her lover finds out and disowns her. Now knowing Jean is indeed a barman of little means doesn't stop her from continuing to live in style until his money is gone. He soon finds himself in Irene's business with older and worldly-wise Madeleine, and though Irene also takes up with a new paramour the two of them keep in increasingly close touch. —J-26
Memorable "comedy" of sorts
This film could be called very French. It takes place in the south of France, a playground between/among men and women, has style and is set in stylish places such as hotels and "haut couture" stores.The female character, and even the male one, are amoral but not judged as such by the director and not severely so by the men and women they service. Some of the reviewers have referred to Irene (Audrey Tatou) as a prostitute. This isn't quite correct. She was a courtesan: a professional mistress chosen as much for her companionship in public as well as private. Like most famous courtesans (e.g "La Dame aux Cammillias") she seems to have come from poverty of some sort--and is thus rather tough.And Jean could probably be called a gigolo, though the elderly lady who pampers him has only minimal illusions as to why he's with her. That could be the point: the middle-aged and elderly rich people they play up to are themselves at fault if they want "young stuff" around as companions instead of seeking company their own age. I did like the ending with the Euro.
- Nov 29, 2007
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