Saturday, 7 July 2018

HORS DE PRIX (Priceless)

This is a charming little RomCom perfect for loafing in front of, after a huge roast dinner! All the usual elements of the genre are present and it is a delight to consume with your After Eight.

Man stumbles into woman, loses woman to circumstance, much to'ing and fro'ing, happenstance, mistaken identity, on-screen chemistry, audience rooting and sympathy, co-incidence, sexy leads, overcoming unlikely barriers, lies and for the grand finale, truth and love!

Irene, played by the gorgeous Audrey Tautou (Amelie, The Da Vinci Code, A Very Long Engagement) is on to a scam, taking rich lonely men for what she can get in exchange for her attentions. Shes tumbles into Jean, played by Gad Elmaleh (Midnight in Paris, Crisis in Six Scenes, Coco) who she thinks is another target. Little does she know that he's a penniless hotel employee, which he doesn't correct her on until later. For him, it's love at first sight!

Mayhem and chaos ensues in various quantities as she ends up teaching him her craft, they join forces to rip off everyone they possibly can find with more cash than brains and, of course, against her better judgement, eventually they fall in love!

Settings are well defined, depicting the monied places in France that people would go to hang out and spend it, away from ordinary people and ordinary situations with the ensuing real-life problems. But this is escapism, after all! Pierre Salvadori's direction is taught and photography interesting, if routine. The script is funny and engaging and supporting cast do a more than adequate job, adding to the baseline.

It's a great little film, based in France, in French with English subtitles for those who need them - but please don't let this put you off - it'd be your loss not to see past that and enjoy this beautifully constructed throw-back to a 1960's-style RomCom. You can just feel that other Audrey encapsulating this delightful role if it were filmed back then, with nods here to Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday. Enjoy ;-)

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