My Stars

A bit of a letdown after her insidiously clever 2002 debut, "He Loves Me … He Loves Me Not," thesp-turned-writer-director Laetitia Colombani’s sophomore feature takes a mildly satiric look at celebrity culture and the French film industry itself.

With:
With: Kad Merad, Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, Melanie Bernier, Maria de Medeiros, Rufus, Juliette Lamboley, Jean-Pierre Martins, Antoine Dulery, Scall Delpreyrat, Dominique Besnehard, Laetitia Colombani, Jean-Chretien Sibertin-Blanc, Patrice Leconte.

A bit of a letdown after her insidiously clever 2002 debut, “He Loves Me … He Loves Me Not,” thesp-turned-writer-director Laetitia Colombani’s sophomore feature takes a mildly satiric look at celebrity culture and the French film industry itself. With Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Beart playing screen divas up against Kad Merad (of smash “Welcome to the Sticks”) as an annoyingly resourceful megafan, “My Stars” offers a glossy, diverting if unmemorable mix of biz in-jokes and light mainstream comedy. Prospects are good for late October Gaul rollout; beyond French-language terrain, it will reap more tepid rewards.

Pasty-faced Merad plays Robert Lepage, who at first appears to be a top-rank Parisian talent agent. But in fact, he’s merely the agency’s night janitor, a position he uses to secretly nab premiere invites, promo materials and personal information relevant to the film actresses he’s obsessed with. This pursuit has already alienated his common-law wife (Maria de Medeiros) and daughter (Juliette Lamboley), both of whom have moved out. But Robert hardly notices their absence — he’s too busy living vicariously through his idols, even interfering with their professional and offscreen lives by posing as agent, boyfriend, even plumber.

When his meddling results in three particular favorites — elegant veteran Solange Duvivier (Deneuve), sex bomb Isabelle Serena (Beart) and fresh face Violette Duval (Melanie Bernier) actually getting cast together in a new film, he’s thrilled. But this happenstance also allows the ladies to compare notes, realizing they’re all being pestered by the same crazy fan. They take turns treating him to a dose of his own medicine, and then some, though eventually happy endings are doled out all around.

This benign view of celebrity-stalking brings little bite to the subject (even some amusing early bitchery between Deneuve and Beart gets doused too soon), but works well enough on its own terms as an agreeable comedy content to just playfully nip at the hand that feeds it. Stars coast amiably in roles that don’t demand much even in the way of self-parody, while French industry figures provide some spot-the-cameo fun. Tech and design contribs are slick if not particularly stylish.

My Stars

France

Production: A Studio Canal release of a Nord-Ouest Prods. presentation of a Nord-Ouest, Studio Canal, MG Films production, in association with Canal Plus and Cinecinema. (International sales: Studio Canal, Paris.) Produced by Christophe Rossington. Executive producer, Eva Machuel. Directed, written by Laetitia Colombani.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Jean-Marie Dreujou; editor, Veronique Parnet; music, Frederic Talgorn; production designer, Jean-Marc Kerdelhue; costume designer, Thierry Delettre; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS), Lucien Balibar, Thomas Desjonqueres, Cyril Holtz; assistant director, Louna Morand; casting, Fabienne Bichet, Gigi Akoka. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (noncompeting), Aug. 28, 2008. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Kad Merad, Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, Melanie Bernier, Maria de Medeiros, Rufus, Juliette Lamboley, Jean-Pierre Martins, Antoine Dulery, Scall Delpreyrat, Dominique Besnehard, Laetitia Colombani, Jean-Chretien Sibertin-Blanc, Patrice Leconte.

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