A rich man's fortune cookie: "Tonight you'll meet someone special." He meets a maid, made aristocrat for the evening to avoid 13 at the dinner party in Paris. They spend the night together. while the hostess stalks them.
On the eve of retirement a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.
1809, France. Captain Neuville is called to the front, leaving his future bride heartbroken. Her sister decides to write letters on his behalf to cheer her up. But it all goes south when Neuville reappears.
Adding a little spice to a waning marriage, Anne and Bob, a wealthy and well-connected American couple, move into a manor house in romantic Paris. While preparing a particularly luxurious dinner for sophisticated international friends, our hostess discovers there are thirteen guests. Panic-stricken, Anne insists her loyal maid Maria disguise herself as a mysterious Spanish noble woman to even out the numbers. But a little too much wine, and some playful chat, lead Maria to accidentally endear herself to a dandy British art broker. Their budding romance will have Anne chasing her maid around Paris and finally plotting to destroy this most unexpected and joyous love affair.
Rossy de Palma, Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel, Paris....What could go wrong? Well, the story and the ending.
The first two-thirds are hilarious and set the scene (gorgeously) then it falls off a cliff, ceases to be a comedy or even a drama, and for the last third is in search of an ending. The final is unsatisfactory in every respect. This could have been great. What happened? Did somebody snatch the script out of the hands of the author/director and insist someone else write it? Whatever, it does not work. All the actors are brilliant, the Paris is a Paris unseen in previous films. The cinematography is wonderful. The story, like the curate's egg, is good in parts, the first parts...... I was in the 2nd audience to see this at the Sydney Film Festival and the director, Amanda Sthers, gave a Q and A in a charming French accent but she stated that is the ending she wanted. But there was a lot of justification. Coulda been a contender.
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