Performances are sharper than the material in "I'm With Lucy," a moderately diverting comedy about a single New York woman working her way through five blind dates in search of a spouse. Although Monica Potter is versatile and amusing in the title role, pic feels like a string of incidents rather than a full-bodied narrative.

Performances are sharper than the material in “I’m With Lucy,” a moderately diverting comedy about a single New York woman working her way through five blind dates in search of a spouse. Although Monica Potter is versatile and amusing in the title role, and gets fine support from a quintet of likely lads, pic feels like a string of incidents rather than a full-bodied narrative. French major Gaumont produced authentic Yank project, which rolled out in Gaul Sept. 4.

Sophomore helmer Jon Sherman (“Breathing Room”) gives film a low-key Manhattan feel, and result is kinder, gentler and way more appealing than, for instance, recent crass misfire, “The Sweetest Thing.” Pic doesn’t so much explore the problems of female professionals looking for rewarding male partners as toy with the notion that any gal can find Mr. Right if she lowers her expectations and doesn’t try too hard.

In one hour, viewer is told at outset, Lucy will marry one of the five guys she has seen, and portions of her dating history are then presented in an extended series of flashbacks.

Lucy experiences perfect sexual symbiosis with Gabriel (Gael Garcia Bernal, from “Amores perros” and “Y tu mama tambien”) but he’s more taken with her body than her mind. She shares a love of Walt Whitman with Luke (David Boreanaz, from TV’s “Buffy” and “Angel”), a gung-ho orthopedist. Anthony LaPaglia scores as Bobby, who once played baseball for the Mets.

Henry Thomas turns in a sweetly yearning perf as Barry, a computer salesman subjected to Lucy’s well-meaning parents (Harold Ramis, Julie Christie). Doug (John Hannah) is the sketchiest of the lot.

Conclusion feels right, although several of the escapades leading to it feel trumped up. Potter’s sheer adorableness does much to smooth over the movie’s wobbly stretches.

I'm With Lucy

France

Production

A Gaumont Buena Vista Intl. (in France)/Columbia Pictures (in U.S.) release of a Gaumont/Fabulous Films production, in association with Process. Produced by Fabien Liron, Tim Perell. Executive producer, Amy Kaufman. Directed by Jon Sherman. Screenplay, Eric Pomerance.

Crew

Camera (color), Tom Richmond; editor, Elizabeth Kling; music, Stephen Edelman; production designer, Sharon Lomofsky; costume designer, Laura Jean Shannon; sound (Dolby), Peter Schneider; casting, Laura Rosenthal, Kathleen Chopin. Reviewed at Deauville Film Festival (opening film, non-competing), Aug. 30, 2002. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Monica Potter, Julianne Nicholson, John Hannah, Gael Garcia Bernal, Anthony LaPaglia, Henry Thomas, David Boreanaz, Harold Ramis, Julie Christie, Robert Klein, Craig Bierko, Julie Gonzalo. (English dialogue.)
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