Mensonges et trahisons et plus si affinités… [Lies And Betrayals] (2004)

(On DVD, December 2007) Romantic comedies from a male point of view are unusual by definition, but this one has a little more than curiosity going for it: As a thirtysomething ghostwriter undergoes a life crisis in pursuing an old flame at the expense of an existing relationship, the film’s first act is hilariously funny, with numerous crash-cuts, fantasy sequences, flashbacks, bons mots and cutting dialogue. (But then again, I’m always partial to writer protagonists.) For a while, it feels like a film that can do no wrong. Alas, that feeling disappears with a car crash of monumental coincidence, and a descent from comedy to melodrama. There are still a few really good sequences here and there (including a fantastic montage of a writer at work), but the romantic resolution feels cheap and easy, and it comes along with a wildly implausible climax to anyone who knows anything about publishing. (A novel written and published in less than a year? No way!) Still, Edouard Baer is appealing as the protagonist, and the rest of the cast (some of whom will be familiar even to French-Canadian viewers) does good work. Not bad, though probably not a hidden gem begging for translation.

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