Based on a novel by Gallic scribe du jour Marc Levy, and directed by his sister, Lorraine, pic largely limits itself to perfunctory jokes and rote romance.

Two divorced dads knock down the wall that divides their homes in “Mes amis, mes amours,” a London-set Gallic meller that could have used some brute force to hammer its screenplay into shape. Based on a novel by Gallic scribe du jour Marc Levy, and directed by his sister, Lorraine, pic largely limits itself to perfunctory jokes and rote romance. Despite the film’s bestselling source material, its near-simultaneous releases in Gaul and Blighty in July were not stellar.

After Mathias (Vincent Lindon) is fired in Paris, he moves in next door to his best friend, Antoine (Pascal Elbe), in London, and the two set up a makeshift family with their kids. Only hiccup seems to be Antoine’s over-regulated lifestyle: He asks Mathias to sign a list of rules but, strangely enough, Mathias proceeds to break one after the other. Pic misses the boat on the dramatic and comedic possibilities of the pair’s unorthodox living arrangements, focusing instead on their romances with a glamour-puss journalist (Virginie Ledoyen, decorative) and shy local florist (Florence Foresti). Lindon is fine, and shows palpable chemistry with Elbe. Exteriors shot in London combine standard sights with more offbeat locations.

– Boyd van Hoeij

Mes amis, mes amours

France-U.K.

Production

A Pathe Distribution (in France/U.K.) release of a FEW (France)/Poisson Rouge Pictures (U.K.) production, in association with Canal Plus, Evidence Films, Pathe Renn Prods., TF1 Films Prod. (International sales: Pathe, Paris.) Produced by Dominique Farrugia, Christopher Granier-Deferre. Executive producer, Dominique Brunner. Directed by Lorraine Levy. Screenplay, Philippe Guez, Lorraine Levy, Marc Levy, based on the novel by Marc Levy.

Crew

Camera (color), Emmanuel Soyer; editor, Sophie Reine; music, Sebastien Souchois; production designer, Francoise Dupertuis; costume designer, Jacqueline Bouchard. Reviewed at Utopia, Luxembourg, Aug. 12, 2008. French, English dialogue. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Vincent Lindon, Pascal Elbe, Virginie Ledoyen, Florence Foresti, Bernadette Lafont, Mar Sodupe, Garance Le Guillermic, Mathias Mlekuz.
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