Story concerns the trials and tribulations of divorced nice guy Dan (Braoude) and warm-hearted executive Sarah (Scott Thomas). After an off-screen bout of love-making and soul-bonding, each loses the other’s address and wonders if it was just another one-night stand. They spend the pic looking for each other.
Dan is a designer of titillating women’s underwear who is oblivious to the beauty of his young models. He confides in Simon (Gerald Darmon), a red-blooded married man driven to old-style comic slavering by the sight of his friend’s
toothsome co-workers. Sarah, an overachieving manager sought out by corporate head-hunters, engages in a film-long heart-to-heart about women in modern society with Michelle (Bruni-Tedeschi), a weak-willed friend being used and abused as a mistress.
The men talk about new sexual techniques, the women about biological clocks. The two lonely lovers are brought together when, in a nice twist, Sarah becomes Dan’s boss. Encoring her weird mentor role in Luc Besson’s “La Femme Nikita,” Jeanne Moreau then appears to impart several gems of womanly wisdom to Sarah.
In casting the chameleonlike Bruni-Tedeschi as the hapless Michelle, Braoude ran the risk of having the hot young thesp run away with the story. She does precisely that, leaving the rest of the cast looking uncomfortably stodgy.
It is only in her scenes with Bruni-Tedeschi that Oscar hopeful Scott Thomas, her foreigner’s French flawless, appears anything other than irritated by having to play in this pic. Her romantic interest in Braoude never once convinces, nor does the helmer’s uneven perf as Dan. As Simon, the craggy Darmon is credible in a sometimes funny, often stagy turn as the stock coward-cum-lecher.
Movie’s plot is almost clever enough to overcome the triteness of its observations, but the pic founders in overindulgence. Scenes are invariably too long and characters too often end up laughing and ad-libbing, as if Braoude expected audiences to be helplessly mirthful and only too glad to be in on the joke.
Tech credits are first-rate, particularly when lenser Philippe Pavans de Ceccatty artfully displays naughty knickers. One only wishes they were draped over an elegant story.