Review: ‘Venus and Fleur’

A harmless, fitfully amusing barebones two-hander, "Venus and Fleur" showcases new faces and little else. Mildly entertaining tale concerns busty but timid Parisian wallflower Fleur who befriends lean Russian extrovert Venus while both young women are vacationing in Marseilles. Third pic from Emmanuel Mouret won't put him on the map.

A harmless, fitfully amusing barebones two-hander, “Venus and Fleur” showcases new faces and little else. Mildly entertaining tale concerns busty but timid Parisian wallflower Fleur (Isabelle Pires) who befriends lean Russian extrovert Venus (Veroushka Knoge) while both young women are vacationing in Marseilles. Each admires the other’s dominant character traits and yearns to find a mate. Slated for late-June theatrical release in Gaul after its Directors Fortnight debut, third pic from scripter-helmer Emmanuel Mouret (“Promene toi donc tout nu,” “Laissons Lucie Faire”) won’t put him on the international map.

Pretty but uptight Fleur meets Venus from St. Petersburg when their identical handbags get switched in a cafe. Fleur invites Venus to stay with her in her uncle’s borrowed villa. An insistent neighbor named God (Frederic Niedermayer) puts the move on both girls, but they’re more interested in backpacker Happiness (Julien Imbert). The vicissitudes of finding a soul mate are played out via sub-Rohmeresque dialogue. Celebration of the mundane is not helped by character names, which occasion lines such as “It’s not what you think with God” and “Happiness will be here in 10 minutes!”

Venus and Fleur

Directors Fortnight / France

Production

A Shellac release of a Moby Dick Films presentation of a Moby Dick Films, Les Films Pelleas production. Produced by Frederic Niedermayer, Philippe Martin, David Thion. Directed, written by Emmanuel Mouret.

Crew

Camera (color), Djibril Glissant, Claire Nicol; editor, Cecile Dubois; music, Franck Sforza; casting, Marianne Gaud. Reviewed at Forum des Images, Paris, May 3, 2004. (In Cannes Film Festival -- Directors Fortnight.) Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Isabelle Pires, Veroushka Knoge, Julien Imbert, Frederic Niedermayer.
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