Isabelle is in love with Pierre. She has been so since they met at Dentistry school and now that they are all grown up and working together in their own Practice in Paris, life is perfect for the pair. Well almost. Isabelle would like to get married, start a family and spend the rest of her life with him, but there is one thing that is getting in her way of eternal happiness in the form of her family’s curse. For generations all the women in her family have divorced their first husband and never found joy until they married husband number 2. There is, Isabelle decides, only one way around this, and that is to have a quick marriage of convenience with someone else, divorce him, and then have her wedding with Pierre.
We learn all this as it is recounted at a dinner party at Isabelle’s family home by Corinne, her sister, who is trying to cheer up a tearful female friend who has just been dumped. In fact it was Corinne who had located a willing student in Copenhagen who agreed to marry and divorce Isabelle in the same day as this is evidently legally possible in Denmark. A good idea in practice but when the ‘suitor’ stood her up at the airport, Isabelle panicked and hastily came up with her Plan B.
Corinne had urged her to simply grab any stranger and persuade him to be her new groom, so Isabelle latches on to the notion that the best candidate would be the rather odd loose cannon who had sat next to her on the flight up from Paris and who made a heavy-handed pass at her. The only snag to this was that a) she had been extremely rude and patronizing to him, and b) he was just about to catch a connecting flight to Nairobi. However neither of these facts were going to stop a determined Isabelle, so she immediately bought a ticket to go to Kenya on the same plane and start a charm offensive on this rather eccentric loner.
Jean-Yves her ‘intended’ is a travel writer for The Rough Guide which is a perfect excuse to make this somewhat preposterous story into a manic comic caper which takes them both literally all around the Globe. Compared to the highly successful and immaculately turned out Isabelle, Jean-Yves is a slovenly mess in every sense of the word, and the pair couldn’t have been more opposites if they had tried. Where Isabelle’s life in Paris follows precisely the exact same routine every single week (e.g. she and Pierre make love every Friday evening) Jean-Yves’s is completely spontaneous and rather wild.
Back in Paris an unsuspecting Pierre who has no idea that his Bride-to-be is trying to break the curse by luring a stranger to the altar before he gets there, thinks that Isabelle is abroad at a Mental Institution helping Corrine through a bad fit of depression. After she eventually manages to trick Jean-Yves into making a dishonest woman of her, she hot foots it back to France to the man she has always loved with the plan to now marry him. But like every other scenario in this rather hectic farce, nothing ever works out quite like Isabelle thought it would.
This rather silly film was helmed by Pascal Chaumeil who had a break-out hit with his first feature film ‘Heartbreakers’ starring Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis. This new film doesn’t have the same coherence and the plot does get a tad messy at times, but it is made immensely watchable by the all-consuming central performance by a rather stunning Diane Kruger as Isabelle. After wowing us as Marie Antoinette in ‘The Royal Affair’ (the movie she made just before this one) Miss Kruger shows that she is really at home playing comedy too. At first it didn’t appear that there was much chemistry between Isabelle and Jean-Yves but with a delightful performance by Dany Boon (who also starred in ‘Joyeux Noel’ with Ms Kruger) by the end of he movie, I was convinced they were a perfect match.
The movie has yet to have a theatrical release in the US which is odd when one considers that this rather nonsensical plot seems much more of a Hollywood made movie than a piece of French cinema.
Great fun and quite touching.
Labels: 2013, French, romantic comedy