Monday, March 14, 2011

L'ARNACOEUR
(HEARTBREAKER)

Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier
Francois Damiens, Andrew Lincoln


"He's broken every heart except his own ... until now"




This French romantic comedy set in exotic locales (Morocco, Monte Carlo) started off on a good note then slowly self destructs. An unusual plot with eccentric characters, it thrives on false pretenses and cheesy romantic moments.

Alex Lippi (Romain Duris) is a professional 'heartbreaker'. He is in the business of breaking up relationships. He has only 2 main rules: he doesn't bed the women and he only breaks up unhappy relationships. This whole enterprise triumphs with the joint effort of his sister Melanie (Julie Ferrier) and her husband Marc (Francois Damiens) who take care of all the logistics involved in making sure Alex is successful. He achieves this by using his irresistible charms to make the female half of a couple realize that her beloved is not the one for her.

In his next job, he is given only 10 days to prevent the imminent wedding of a wealthy wine connoisseur Juliette Van Der Becq (Vanessa Paradis) to English philanthropist Jonathan (Andrew Lincoln). Although they are head over heels in love with each other, her father a tycoon thinks otherwise and therefore hires Alex to intervene.

The plot then weaves into a complex and profoundly stupid slapstick subplots with a slew of British and American pop culture adding to the foolishness. Its repeated allusions to the British group Wham! and the Patrick Swayze movie "Dirty Dancing" were so corny. A banal romantic farce set to an awfully saccharine soundtrack, it's quite predictable.

Amazingly, Romain Duris is a big star in France even though his looks are quite average even bordering on the ugly. :D While Vanessa Paradis is more popularly known as a singer/model and the life partner of Johnny Depp, so her acting skills leave much to be desired.

The saving grace would be the alluring locales and the fashionable wardrobe of the characters. I think only the French can come up with such an absurd story and disguise it as a romantic comedy. Yet Hollywood seems to be interested in such shallow entertainment and a remake is in the works. Gosh! Let's just hope the American version will be much better.

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