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French Cinema

Heartbreaker (L’arnacoeur, France 2010)

Alex stoops to seducing Juliette by dancing the Patrick Swayze role in her favourite film, Dirty Dancing.

The hit of the year in France, Heartbreaker is slowly dying in UK cinemas on a limited release (around 60 prints). The same audiences who have shunned it in multiplexes, presumably because they would have to read subtitles, will no doubt flock to the inevitable Hollywood remake. C’est la vie as the English character in the film says – the loss is theirs. I would be very surprised if Hollywood can serve up anything as funny and sexy as this. There is no American actor I can think of who could compete with Romain Duris.

It’s a compliment of sorts that Hollywood couldn’t make anything more glamorous or more slick. This is a very conventional romcom. Duris is Alex, who works as a professional to break up engagements that somebody (usually a parent) doesn’t want to see reaching the altar. Supported by his sister and her husband, Alex sets up extravagant cons that seduce the women targeted. But he has principles – he only works on women who are unhappy in their relationships (although, of course, they don’t always know that they are unhappy). Then one day he meets Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) and you can guess the rest.

I’ve written about Romain Duris in the romcoms of Cédric Klapisch and in dramas such as The Beat That My Heart Skipped. I wasn’t totally convinced by the Klapisch roles, but I rate him highly. The real surprise in the film was Vanessa Paradis who I thought was excellent – very beautiful, sexy and smart. Life with Johnny Depp can’t be too stressful. The other two principal cast members are also very good (Julie Ferrier as the sister Mélanie and François Damiens as her husband Marc). Monaco (and Morocco) look great. I laughed a lot and even cried at the end – perfect entertainment.

The UK trailer:

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Heartbreaker (L’arnacoeur, France 2010)

  1. I thought this would still be showing at my local multiplex but it is amazing how fast it disappeared. Well and truly gutted. Will have to keep my eyes peeled to see if it does pop up at the cornerhouse. Apparently will smith is attached to remake this one, how reassuring.

    Posted by Omar | July 18, 2010, 22:35
  2. Nice article!

    Posted by tvshowepisodes | July 19, 2010, 07:49

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