Pascal Chaumeil :: France :: 2009 : 1h45

Alex (Roman Duris) makes his living breaking up failed relationships. He is usually contracted by disgruntled parents unconvinced with the amorous choices of their offspring, in an attempt at preserving them from committing to someone they “should not”. How does he do this? Well, together with his sister and his brother-in-law, they find out all they can about the person, to exploit their sentimental weaknesses to seduce them into seeing that life can be different with someone else. And that someone else is never Alex – he just shows them the way out of their unhappy relationship.

The movie skims over the set-up in the first few minutes to give you the bare essentials of the characters and what they do. It is clear that the interest of the film lies in what is still to come – the introduction of the self-confident, sexy and wealthy Juliette (Vanessa Paradis). Thirty-something Juliette is to be wed to an equally affluent and confident Jonathan, who seems to lack discernible defaults. And yet her father seems to feel their engagement is a mismatch – but why? As Alex slaves away to try to sway Juliette’s heart away from Jonathan, we -together with Alex- wonder what is wrong with their relationship.

The structure of the film is one of a standard romantic comedy, a drawback you can unfortunately not dispel. But the budding relationship between the reserved but outspoken Juliette and the seemingly innocent but deviously manipulative Alex grows on you in such a comical way, that you although the structure is dull the film does live up to its pretensions – it is very funny. And is that not what romantic comedy is supposed to be? An excellent start to hopefully fruitful career as a film director for newcomer Pascal Chaumeil.



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