Review: ‘An Innocent Little Game’

In "An Innocent Little Game," Pandora's box opens wide when a model couple allows friends and family to believe they're calling it quits. As helmed by TV and lit personality Bernard Rapp, watchable but pulse-free adaptation of a hit play is a way-too-polite comedy of manners. Pic seems unlikely to travel far.

In “An Innocent Little Game,” Pandora’s box opens wide when a model couple allows friends and family to believe they’re calling it quits. As helmed by TV and lit personality Bernard Rapp, watchable but pulse-free adaptation of a hit play is a way-too-polite comedy of manners. Despite otherwise talented name cast, potentially tantalizing exercise rarely rises above the mildly amusing. Pic seems unlikely to travel far.

Claire (Sandrine Kiberlain) and Bruno (Yvan Attal) have been living together for 12 years. When Bruno’s nerdy cousin Patrick (Lionel Abelanski) likens them to the stiffly blissful pair in a cookie ad, Claire announces their imminent split to shut him up. Bruno wants to nip the rumor in the bud, but as word of their alleged break spreads, others — assuming it’s now OK to speak frankly — start revealing what they really think of them and their relationship. Claire’s best friend Axelle (Marina Fois) says way more than she should, while the enigmatic Serge (Jean-Paul Rouve) slyly courts Claire. Running gags don’t move fast enough as episodic action transpires over one long summer day at the country estate that Bruno’s widowed mom is selling.

An Innocent Little Game

France

Production

A Pathe Distribution release of an Arena Films, Everybody on Deck, France 3 Cinema production with participation of Canal Plus and CineCinema. (International sales: Pathe, Paris.) Produced by Helene Delale, Bruno Pesery. Directed by Bernard Rapp. Screenplay, Jean Dell, Gerald Sibleyras, Rapp, based on the play by Dell and Sibleyras;

Crew

Camera (color), Gerard De Batista; editor, Lise Beaulieu; music, Sebastien Souchois; art director, Yves Fournier; costume designer, Corinne Jorry. Reviewed at UCG Odeon, Paris, Dec 18, 2004. Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Sandrine Kiberlain, Yvan Attal, Jean-Paul Rouve, Marina Fois, Lionel Abelanski, Michel Vuillermoz.
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