Monday, September 14, 2009


Cine Europa
Cinema 1, Shang Cineplex

France's 'entry' to this year's Cine Europa is a schmaltzy romantic comedy. Basically a chick flick about two sisters who have different ideas and notions about romance. Lena, a musician (Marion Cotillard) is level headed while Ariane (Julie Depardieu), an editor of photo novels (a magazine type novel with illustrations and dialogue) tends to over romanticize her relationships.

The film explores the ups and downs of relationships presented in realistic tones. That is if you include love affairs with men other than your boyfriend/partner. The steady plot is coupled with certain dream like/animated sequences which depicts Ariane's fairy tale like love stories for the magazine.

The characters are well developed and portrayed convincingly by good actors. Most of the comedy comes from the dialogue (which is entirely in French with English subtitles) as well as funny situations which mostly involve Ariane's pathetic antics vis a vis her relationship with Farid, her commitment phobe partner.

I was surprised to learn that it was only about an hour and a half because it seemed like this rom com dragged on forever. Only to conclude with a somewhat predictable ending, not necessarily a happy one at that. It was probably not really worth lining up for but hey it was shown for free (all the films in Cine Europa were shown on a first come, first served basis) and it gave me a rare chance to 'practice' my French. That is for me to find out if I could still understand the language without necessarily reading the English subtitles. I'd like to say I managed fairly well!

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