This classy import is a hard sell to American audiences; first, it's in French, and second, it begins as if the first reel is missing--the low-key action opens with two banal conversations at separate tables. Actress/writer Jaoui, in her directorial debut, takes time in sorting out relationships. Eventually it becomes clear that married, boorish businessman Castella (Bacri) is falling for 40-year-old actress Clara (Alvaro), who's fretting about aging and her uncertain prospects, and who has been hired to teach Castella English. He pursues, she resists--at first. Meanwhile, Castella's tough bodyguard Moreno (Lanvin) is involved with Clara's friend, free-spirited barmaid Manie (Jaoui). For fans of Rohmer, it works. The characters are engagingly different and interesting. The film looks as sharp and polished as a comparable Hollywood ensemble comedy. French with subtitles.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-1120, Toll-free: 800-723-4763, URL: http://www.bvhe.com
Available on DVD
Running time 112 minutes.
Originally from French.
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