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L'Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker)


I've been a fan of French cinema since film school. But it's only recently that I seem to have developed a taste for French rom-coms. Thanks, French Film Festival!

This is the nth movie I've seen that made a reference to Dirty Dancing, so I cannot let my ignorance go on any longer. I had to watch Dirty Dancing. But more on that next time.

We shall also be discussing "The Lift" in more detail.

Although this film is in French and takes place in Monaco, it is not a purely French production. Focus Features, an American company, has a hand in it. That is why there are English-language references, such as Dirty Dancing, George Michael, and an English soundtrack. Also, The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is also in it.

"I still only speak basic French."

The film features a great performance by Romain Duris, who sort of looks like a French Russell Brand. And incidentally, Monsieur Duris is now my favorite French actor.

Le badasse.

The female lead Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) might turn some people off because of the huge gap between her front teeth. You might be wondering why a big French superstar like her doesn't spend money on braces to bridge that gap as wide as the Amazon river. I believe the answer is character. Her gap tooth gives her character. She has probably grown accustomed to that gap that it has become a part of her. To bridge that gap is to cease becoming Vanessa Paradis. She and her gap are one. You get what I'm saying. When the French say "beautiful", they mean "flawed".

You can take a ruler and measure that gap.

You'll know the "romantic" part of romantic comedy works when, despite having a not-so-pretty female lead (not so pretty only because of the gap tooth), you get that giddy feeling inside. This goes for both the Alex-Juliette love story, or the Mélanie-Marc married couple antics. This means the storytelling was effective, and the narrative tugged at your heartstrings, regardless of whether you had a crush on the girl in the first place. This means that, like the male character, you fell in love. Although it wouldn't hurt to still want to shag that nympho girl Sophie (Helena Noguerra).

Yes, she is the hottest woman in this movie.

And finally, Dirty Dancing. There must be something about this film if it's being referenced by the French. My girlfriend has been hounding me to watch it for quite a while now. And she didn't like it when I finally decided to watch it not because of her, but because I saw it in a French film.

If you still haven't seen this, what the hell are you waiting for?

L'Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker). France/Monaco. 2010.

Rating: Seven out of ten.


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