Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Bernard Besserglik
    80
    Witty, enjoyable costume drama imagines formative episode in life of French comedy giant.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    80
    Romance, creativity, subterfuge and repartee are among the pleasures to be had in Moliere, a consistently diverting, bittersweet costumer.
  3. 80
    An extravagant and thoroughly irresistible story of intrigue, romance, comedy and artistic inspiration.
  4. The actors elevate what might have been fluff into a genuinely moving tale, and the action is so much fun that it doesn't even matter if you've seen Molière's plays before.
  5. Though it might be Moliere for Dummies, it's infinitely more fun than French director Ariane Mnouchkine's tedious 1978 film portrait, a Moliere for Smarties that ran four hours plus and, like Tirard's movie, explored the comedy of tragedy.
  6. 75
    Sometimes it's fun to put on costumes and wigs and just goof around.
  7. 75
    A Molière this good deserves a more substantive portrait, but this one will do for now.
  8. As Molière, Romain Duris is frisky and, playing the wife of his benefactor, Laura Morante proves once again that she is one of the most intelligent and attractive actresses in the world.
  9. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    70
    Tirard unwinds the action slow and steady, which makes for a slackly paced first hour that all but destroys the movie. Hang in and you'll see the method in this seemingly perverse strategy, as the young blade grows a passion for the highly strung, cultivated lady of the house, beautifully played by Europe's reigning queen of barely suppressed hysteria, Laura Morante.
  10. 70
    Yet the film, directed by Laurent Tirard, has something. To be exact, it has Fabrice Luchini and Laura Morante, as M. and Mme. Jourdain.
  11. The meshing of Moliere and Tartuffe into one character creates so many complications and loose ends that it is a fool's errand to try to make sense of the story.
  12. Moliere transforms into a fuller piece whenever Morante takes center stage.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    While none of this is meant to be taken seriously, the premise demeans Moliere's great achievement.
  14. 63
    Showing up for Molière eager for the story of one of the theater's greatest comedy writers would be unwise. It's not that kind of party.
  15. 58
    It's like a breeze so slight it doesn't leave a tickle.
  16. 50
    By suggesting that the man's life was as riotously funny as his plays, writer-director Laurent Tirard leaves us wishing he'd opted to do a straightforward adaptation instead.
  17. 50
    The Great Playwrights for Dummies series that began with "Shakespeare in Love" continues with Molière, a French clone of that grating and smarmy Best Picture winner.
  18. 50
    Less forgivably, the movie is dull.
  19. Reviewed by: Ryan Wenzel
    50
    The approach isn’t new--the film’s already been dubbed “Molière in Love”--but the result is a wry look at the nature of acting and the power of comedy.
  20. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    40
    Playing comedy, Duris is as engaging as a bowl of porridge; playing tragedy, he’s the height of comic absurdity; in scenes romantic, he’s detached to the point of somnolence.
  21. The result is as off-putting as biting into a confection in which the sugar has been replaced by salt.
  22. A whimsical but flat-footed attempt to account for several lost months in the life of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known to the world as Molière.

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