Friday, April 15, 2011

Talking Tribeca: Romantics Anonymous

I’ve had the pleasure this year of screening a number of selections from the Tribeca Film Festival. In no particular order, I present a look at one film per day. The Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 20th through May 1st.

Romantics Anonymous
Directed by Jean-Pierre Améris
Festival Screenings

With some films, it’s clear from the start that they have a wonderful spirit. That’s never been truer than in “Romantics Anonymous,” the fantastical tale of two socially awkward misfits who meet and fall in love at a chocolate shop. Angélique (Isabelle Carré) is secretly a master chef but can’t bear to have anyone recognize her for her talents, and Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde) is a manager whose therapist tells him he needs to try having human contact of some kind. This lovely, unassuming film follows the two of them as they stumble through their would-be relationship, and it’s simply a delight to witness Jean-René storming off to the restroom several times during a date to change his shirt to another that he has meticulously and neatly packed in a briefcase, for fear of being seen sweating. Angélique isn’t without her charms either, and it’s fun to see her set up a webcam and concoct a fake hermit on the other end so that she can teach her coworkers how to make delicious desserts. Both Carré and Poelvoorde are great, and the supporting cast is wonderful, particularly Lorella Cravotta, Lise Lamétrie, Swann Arlaud, and Pierre Niney as the fellow employees at the chocolate shop. This film takes the sentiment from last year’s “Heartbreaker” and mixes it with the bubbly style and eye-popping colors of “Micmacs” to create the best that French film has to offer. This light, perfectly charming film also features some absolutely irresistible baking, and not only will it warm your heart, it will also give you quite an appetite for chocolate.

See it or skip it? See it, no question!

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