Après Vous Movie Review
You really have to give it up for Antoine. Not only does he put up the hangdog Louis at the apartment Antoine shares with his girlfriend, Christine (Marilyne Canto), he also lands him a gig as a sommelier at his restaurant -- a job that the bumbling Louis is woefully unqualified for (and something the movie milks its fair share of laughs from). In spite of his employer's disgust at Louis' performance, Antoine's resolve is rock solid. It's only when he crosses paths with Blanche (Sandrine Kiberlain), the freckled and long-legged florist that Louis continues to carry a torch for, that he begins to crumble. Antoine and Blanche's immediate chemistry spills into their separate lives, threatening to founder Antoine's relationship with Christine, not to mention the still-pining Louis' mental stability. The swing of the plot's emotional pendulum leads to romantic contretemps that are funny without sacrificing the movie's essential heart and humanism.
While perfectly professional and generous towards his performers, Pierre Salvadori's direction lacks the nimble-footedness of screwball comedy and, as such, it bogs down the material, belaboring what should've been a short, brisk lark into a nearly two-hour affair. The movie has the framework of screwball comedy but comes to us dressed up in the somber robes of interpersonal drama. The screenplay for Après Vous is credited to Salvadori and Benoît Graffin. Daniele Dubroux and David Colombo Leotard, meanwhile, get credit for "Original Idea" and "Screenplay Collaboration" respectively. With that many cooks in the kitchen, one might expect a soup with more complex flavors and greater pungency. Their story's plotlines and character arcs may be clean, but they're also rather flat and simplistic. With tighter pacing and a nose for anarchic humor in the manner of, say, Hawks or Cukor, Salvadori might've sharpened his movie's edges and livened up its more listless stretches.
Still, what Après Vous' screenplay and direction do offer is an opportunity for its ensemble to stretch its legs. Auteuil, already a well-established and -respected presence in modern French cinema, gives the movie its magnetic center -- its clumsy heart and slapstick irreverence. With his slow-burn manner and delivery, Auteuil injects vitality into Salvadori's otherwise stodgy framings. José Garcia's mealy-mouthed Louis is amusing but his performance feels gimmicky alongside Auteuil's natural charm, while Kiberlain's Blanche has a morose attractiveness that keeps us hooked. Après Vous doesn't have the verve of His Girl Friday or The Philadelphia Story to rip it up as a screwball farce. Ultimately, it's got too sweet a soul for that and, even as we wish for a more bracing concoction, it's still one worth savoring.
Aka Après vous...
Today's Featured Videos
|Lady Gaga Gets Kissed By Fan...|
|Jennifer Hudson Shows Off Stunning Pixie...|
|Forest Whitaker Takes Family To 'Black...|
|Jacob Latimore And Angela Bassett Spotted...|
|Jared Leto Waves At Fans And...|
|Write for us|