IFC Films | Release Date: September 10, 2010
6.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 15 Ratings
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10
Mixed:
4
Negative:
1
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4
nutterjrOct 24, 2011
Not all European cinema is worth a watch, especially the ones that copy the Hollywood box-office recipies. If it wasn't for a rather charming Romain Duris, this film would be a disaster.
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5
ShiiraJan 15, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is a rare thing, these days, to find a challenging read. Books, being what they are, an antiquated form of entertainment, most novels, as a result, follow a structure that hews closely to the screenplay: three acts, and almost always, without fail, plot-oriented. More artful than a film novelization, authors of contemporary fiction, both popular and literary, however, write books that seem all too ready-made for adaptation. That's because they know their time is up. The book industry is under siege by indifferent philistines, technology-addled boys and girls, unaware of fiction's existence. Having long been replaced by wireless devices as the accessory of choice for commuters who travel by bus or subway, publishing houses will be less likely to gamble on a narrative that is modernist and character-oriented, or anything deemed not to be reader-friendly. Declining sales in the book marketplace would seem to indicate that people aren't doing any indoor reading either. Meanwhile, the cinema is increasingly becoming an English-only proposition, because frankly, foreign tongues are bad for business. Nobody wants to "read" a movie. Those Blackberry and I-Phone users need the movies too, but they're not lining up for the latest Claire Denis flick, that's for sure. Look at the Amy Adams character in "The Fighter", who b*tches about having to apprehend the subtitled "Belle Epoque", and that was the early-nineties, before all those toys came into fruition. Things are worse now, much worse. American moviegoers, with their short-attention spans and isolationist attitudes, champion American films, but strangely enough, so does the rest of the world, a global phenomena which even includes France, of all places, the country that built the "art house". And yet, despite their reputation for high art, ten out of the top fifteen highest grossing films of 2010, came from the United States, with "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part One" holding down the top position. Rounding out the top ten, fending off Disney's "Rapunzel" for the final slot was "L'arnacoeur", a romantic comedy that should have Francois Truffaut rolling in his grave. Far from being a film snob(like Jean-Luc Goddard, who, in all likelihood, to this day, has never seen his compatriot in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"), the Cahiers du cinema writer, had he lived, would have probably stopped short of selling-out, and actually making a Steven Spielberg-like spectacle, and other films of its ilk. But make no mistake about it, Truffaut loved the American cinema. In a masterwork such as "The Bride Wore Black", his deep reverence for "The Master of Suspense" is more than self-evident. Instead of slavish imitation, however, the filmmaker put his own personal stamp on Hitchc*ck's filmic language, and after the translation, the finished product would be unmistakably his, unmistakably French. Facsimile didn't interest him, nor did it interest any of his New Wave colleagues, all dead now, save for Goddard and Agnes Varda. Above all else, Truffaut was a cineaste, and in his capacity as a critic, he would have easily diagnosed the calculation behind "L'arnacoeur", whose rom-com tropes are so Hollywood friendly, the film seems to have been made to be remade. Although the characters are speaking in their own native tongues, the words seem completely foreign to the diegesis. All of the ambiguity and unpredictability that gives French cinema its name, good or bad, is missing from "L'arnacoeur", and in its place, the filmmaker replaces the country's cinematic hallmarks with the same stultifying banalities that have become synonymous with the contemporary American rom-com. No prizes for those who guess correctly if the break-up artist will inevitably fall for the target of his ongoing job. Juliette, a flower magnate(engaged to a man daddy hates), loves Roquefort cheese, but it might as well be Kraft American SIngles, given the woman's adoration for Wham!(technically British) and the film "Dirty Dancing". We know what such proclivities entail, and a shudder runs through our bodies at the potentiality of the flower magnate's dual passions being floridly expressed. Although we're spared a hearty sing-a-long(Juliette quietly mouths the words to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"), on the dancing front, however, the break-up artist pulls out all the stops, doing a step-perfect rendition of Patrick Swayze's swaggering dancing style in the 1987 Emile Ardolino film, which inspires Juliette to break-out her best "Baby" moves. Nobody puts French cinema in the corner, but "L'arnacouer" does, through its flagrant regurgitation of the Hollywood ending, where simultaneous epiphanies by both parties at separate venues(an airport, and a wedding), lead them onto the same road, running, and into each other's arms. In a proper French film, somebody would get hit by a truck. We're supposed to be the smiling idiots, not them. Expand
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5
olympiansOct 18, 2010
Take away Monaco (where the film was largely set), constant sunshine, 5 start hotels, Vanessa Paradis strutting about in top to toe designer gear at all times and the pervading "money is no object" aspirational aspect of the film and whatTake away Monaco (where the film was largely set), constant sunshine, 5 start hotels, Vanessa Paradis strutting about in top to toe designer gear at all times and the pervading "money is no object" aspirational aspect of the film and what are you left with? Not a lot I'm afraid. The supporting cast does a good job but Romain Duris does not work for me as a leading man. Too short and too skinny maybe? I've loved him in other films but this one left me rather lukewarm. Expand
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