“Next!” follows the frantic adventures of a Parisian casting director whose unenviable experiences range from having her apartment commandeered by a Serbian refugee to indirectly procuring babes for a visiting slimeball American director. Urban laffer features well-liked thesps Alexandra Lamy and Clovis Cornillac (both in runaway hit “Brice de Nice”) in roles with just enough humor and heart to interest fests in search of light, crowd-pleasing fare. Local prognosis for July 6 release looked good, although summer remains an iffy season at Gallic wickets.
Put-upon Josephine (Lamy), age 35, auditions thousands of aspiring actors each year for commercials and movies. She lives alone with her beloved dog and recently swore off dating actors. When she meets entertaining non-entertainer Bernard (Cornillac), his improvisational talents smooth some of the larger bumps in her hectic life. First-time feature helmer Jeanne Biras trained to direct and edit but fell into the casting field when Louis Malle asked her to find the youngsters for his “Au revoir, les enfants” nearly 20 years ago. Showbiz sequences ring funny and true. Oozing charisma, Avignon Film Festival founder Jerry Rudes convinces as the lecherous American helmer.