Starring Daniel Auteuil, Sandrine Kiberlain, José Garcia
Studio: Paramount 34543
Video: Enhanced for 16:9 widescreen
Audio: DD 5.1 French, DD. 2.0 French
Length: 110 minutes
A French comedy with several twists. Antoine is the headwaiter in a restaurant and taking a shortcut thru a park finds a lovelorn and despondent man trying to hang himself. Antoine saves Louis and tries to help him, taking him home to his apartment, but it’s a struggle because at first Louis doesn’t want to be saved. Among Antoine’s Herculean efforts is heading off a suicide letter Louis had sent to his grandparents. Eventually Antoine gets Louis a job as the sommelier at the restaurant, leading to some hilarious challenges. Antoine’s girlfriend thinks the whole thing is “des trop” and the viewer will agree. Naturally, being a French film, there’s lots of time spent in restaurants, going to restaurants, and eating. I recommend seeing this on a full stomach.
Antoine susses out the former girlfriend who caused Louis to want to do himself in, and attempts to prepare Louis to get himself together and hook up with her again. But first he must take out of the running another man who is about to marry the woman in a few days and is successful in this. But there is a hopefully unexpected major twist. As with many European films, establishing the setting and mood at the beginning is rather slow going, but the second half gets into gear and is quite delightful. Auteuil is wonderful in his role. The widescreen transfer is excellent with no artifacts, though the 5.1 surround makes little use of the surrounds. I would recommend a nice bottle of chardonnay with this one.
– John Sunier