France's eternal love of wine results in a nasty hangover in "One for the Road."
France’s eternal love of wine results in a nasty hangover in “One for the Road,” producer-cum-helmer Philippe Godeau’s melancholy portrait of a group of AA adherents confined to five weeks’ intensive rehab. A darker, flatter but more instructive “28 Days,” the pic is carried as far as it can go by star Francois Cluzet (“Tell No One”), playing a boozing journalist who checks into a detox program and discovers there’s more to life than a fine glass (or several bottles) of Merlot. So deadpan it feels both ironic and too self-serious, “Road” will lead to some local coin, but only to dry counties abroad.
Based on reporter Herve Chabalier’s autobiography about his battle with alcoholism, the story takes place in a French Alps retreat where Herve (Cluzet) confronts his dangerous addiction. He’s introduced to a quirky cast of characters — including a loudmouthed lush (Michel Vuillermoz) and a vodka-sipping vixen (Melanie Thierry) — who reveal the hazards of falling off the wagon too many times. Godeau (who founded Gallic shingle Pan-Europeenne) tackles the action all too safely, showcasing fine production values but making it all seem as systematic as a 12-step program.