Trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, this is a lovely, bitter-sweet little dramedy, unusual in its ending. And this latter element is precisely what is charming about it. It is not just another Disney-like, implausible, 'Cinderella' story of the type Hollywood throws up at us with admirable frequency. Though by far not a masterpiece, and in search of a character, being not quite a drama, nor quite a comedy, the ending makes it stand out.
In my view, the ending is perfect, precisely because it is more realistic, it feels more real. Characters who live in a false world (keeping thin by forcefully throwing up, or organising luxurious parties while being on the verge of bankruptcy) remain in their false world, continuing to suffer in their gilded cages. Is that not the perfect punishment? People who were always dignified, who had self-respect and a certain untouched morality, retain their dignity, their esteem in their own eyes and in the eyes of the audience. Is that not an effective ending? There is no necessity to always have the same reversal of roles, easily served and so easily digested, dispensed with and forgotten.
Every time a script goes out of the usual, overused Hollywood trope, audiences start to bitch and moan at how awful this is, how unsatisfied they are. I have a strong feeling, that if it had the ending everyone is so anxious for, these same people would say: 'Well, where's the novelty in that? We've seen that before'. Haven't we seen enough 'Maids in Manhattan'? Do we really need yet another fairly empty romance story with the usual players - the low-born or low-placed but (always!) beautiful girl, the quirky, but ridiculous best friend, the rich and powerful stud who crosses the social divide for love, etc? Such films are sweet, but outside their very narrow romantic premise, sweet as that may be, they say very little both about society, and about the people in it, their character, their self-perception, their understanding of the world around them. Madame has something to say about these things. It says these things with much less panache than 'Remains of the Day', but it is closer to the real world of today than other romantic comedies.
No, I do not consider 'Madame' a masterpiece. Nor do I feel it wants to be such. If its aims are modest, they are still interesting and valid, and if the satire and social commentary are modest, this does not make them necessarily more ineffective. Perhaps giving it a 7 is too henerous (or, depending on ones perspective and understanding, not generous enough). Yet I feel the ending does merit recognition, and if I gave the rest a six, the ending pulls in a star on its own.