17 user 53 critic

De vrais mensonges (2010)

A hairdresser forwards a passionate love letter to her mother.


Pierre Salvadori


Pierre Salvadori (scenario), Benoît Graffin (scenario) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Audrey Tautou ... Émilie Dandrieux
Nathalie Baye ... Maddy Dandrieux
Sami Bouajila ... Jean
Stéphanie Lagarde Stéphanie Lagarde ... Sylvia
Judith Chemla ... Paulette
Cécile Boland Cécile Boland ... La cliente à la frange
Didier Brice Didier Brice ... L'homme au magazine
Daniel Duval ... Le père d'Émilie
Yilin Yang Yilin Yang ... Cliente chinoise 1
Qiu Lan ... Cliente chinoise 2 (as Lan Qui)
Patrice Bouret Patrice Bouret ... Monsieur Pastor
Paul Morgan Paul Morgan ... Mister Isaac
Santiago Reyes Santiago Reyes ... Le traducteur


Following a breakdown, multi-lingual Jean quits his job as a UNESCO translator to become handyman at Emilie's hair salon. Smitten by her he writes her a love letter but she thinks it comes from an elderly admirer and sends it on to her mother Maddy, who needs cheering after her husband left. Eventually Maddy comes to the conclusion that Jean is her secret admirer and Emilie plays up to this to keep her mother content and sane. When Emile tells the truth neither Maddy or Jean are pleased but love eventually finds a way to make them all happy. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes a little white lie can change everything


Comedy | Romance


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Official Sites:

Official site [France]




French | Chinese | English

Release Date:

8 December 2010 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Beautiful Lies See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a love letter written to Émilie is read out in a voice-over while scenes of her admirer watching her and writing her letters are shown on the screen. See more »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 12 August 2011 (2011) See more »


Les problèmes
Written by S. Mary and P. Blanchard
Performed by Les Soeurs Winchester
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User Reviews

An accessible and lightweight French comedy featuring everyone's favourite Audrey Tautou
3 July 2011 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

Love seems especially beautiful when it happens in France, doesn't it? We've all imagined ourselves as the beautiful people headlining French movies like Amelie (2001), A Very Long Engagement (2004) and Priceless (2006). Is it just coincidence that the above-mentioned movies feature French cinema's darling Audrey Tautou? Here we have another romantic comedy starring the lovely starlet and her pixie crop.

Tautou plays Emilie (probably paying homage to Amelie, the character which made the French star a household name), an owner of a hairdressing salon who receives a hand written love letter from a shy handyman. She dismisses the passionate letter at first, but when she realises that her mother is still distraught over the betrayal of her father, she decides to resend the letter to cheer the upset woman up. What follows is a series of misunderstandings and an awkward love triangle involving a man caught between two women who are mother and daughter.

This is your usual French charmer, with a tried and test romantic comedy formula. You'd be chuckling instead of roaring in laughter at the setups and the occasional sexual innuendos, you'd be impressed with yourself (yet again) because you could see the ending coming one quarter into the 105 minute movie, and you'd have no problem sitting through this lightweight and accessible production where everyone, well, is a charmer.

We are talking about the caricatured characters here, ranging from Tautou's smart alec but lovable protagonist, Nathalie Baye's (Catch Me If You Can) mother character who seems a little too hungry for sex, Sami Bouajia's (Days of Glory) handsome handyman, and other supporting roles written to provide additional laughs. This isn't exactly a bad thing though - the people in the world written by scriptwriter Benoit Graffin may lead everyday lives like ours, but there is something particularly charismatic about how they appear on screen. This makes us common folks desire for a lifestyle like theirs, and that's probably why everyone loves French cinema.

Tautou and her signature bob does nothing new here, but still manages to have you siding with her idiosyncratic and quirky character. Baye steals the show as the mother whose love life is turned upside down after receiving a zealously written love letter. The actress manages to deliver a comical performance which provides the energy for the film. Bouajia isn't too bad either, as one can only imagine his frustration as he finds himself caught between two women. Supporting characters played by Stephanie Lagarde and Judith Chemla complete the likable ensemble cast.

As this isn't a sweeping romance drama, you can expect standard production values (read: simple cinematography and simple art direction) which are more commonly found on TV movies. This, also isn't a bad thing, because your attention should be on the character's jesting and bantering.

Director Pierre Salvadori, who also co penned the screenplay, is obviously hoping to repeat the success he enjoyed on Priceless five years ago, which also starred Tautou. A romantic comedy like this will be easily enjoyed by the masses, but it may also be conveniently filed into the category of "one of those" French comedies you've watched before.

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