Review: ‘I’m Staying!’

Diane Kurys brings scant distinction to dopey tale of a meticulous, self-centered engineer who refuses to admit defeat when his neglected wife demands a divorce and takes up with a scruffy screenwriter. Mainstream venture helmed by the numbers, name talents will propel pic a certain distance, but only undemanding auds will find satisfaction.

Diane Kurys brings scant distinction to “I’m Staying!,” the dopey tale of a meticulous, self-centered engineer who refuses to admit defeat when his neglected wife demands a divorce and takes up with a scruffy screenwriter. Fashioned from a tepid script by vet Florence Quentin to which three fine actors were unaccountably drawn, ultra-mainstream venture is helmed by the numbers and doesn’t add up to much. Name talents will propel pic a certain distance, but only undemanding auds will find satisfaction.

Civil engineer and obsessional bicycle-riding enthusiast Bertrand (Vincent Perez) and his lovely, patient wife, Marie-Do (Sophie Marceau), have been married 10 years and share their opulent Paris apartment with their beloved son. With Perez obviously having a blast portraying an egocentric jerk, pic hammers away showing examples of his self-satisfied obnoxiousness for half an hour when the fact that he takes Marie-Do for granted is evident from opening frames.

When Marie-Do tells an astonished Bertrand it’s over between them, he sets out to win her back. Only quasi-novel development is that Bertrand and Marie-Do’s new lover Antoine (Charles Berling), get along swell. Antoine starts writing a film script based on their experiences.

Thesps exploit pic’s mild humor quotient with aplomb, but formulaic result adds nothing to the realm of onscreen love triangles. Vivacious, appealing Marceau keeps the leaky narrative from sinking altogether. Lensing is adequate, score mostly undistinguished.

I'm Staying!

France

Production

A Pathe Distribution release of an Alter Films, France 2 Cinema, France 3 Cinema production with participation of TPS Star and the Calvados Region. (International sales: Pathe Distribution, Paris.) Produced by Alain Terzian. Directed by Diane Kurys. Screenplay, Florence Quentin.

Crew

Camera (color), Robert Alazraki; editors, Francine Sandberg, Stephane Brunclair; music, Paolo Buonvino; production designer, Tony Egry; costume designer, Caroline De Vivaise; sound (Dolby), Dominique Levert, Francoise Groult. Reviewed at UGC Danton, Paris, Oct. 1, 2003. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Marie-Do - Sophie Marceau Bertrand - Vincent Perez Antoine - Charles Berling
With: Pascale Roberts, Francois Perrot, Colette Maire, Jean-Claude de Goros.
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