The Gallic comedy recounts frequent shenanigans of a loving couple having problems getting pregnant, mixed with sad, more serious undercurrents.

The flipside of Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” in every sense, Gallic comedy “A Burning Desire” recounts the frequently unfunny shenanigans of a loving couple having problems getting pregnant. Writer-helmer Bernard Jeanjean (“Tell Me I’m Pretty”) and co-scribe Martine Fontaine have their protags race through various fertility techniques, but the broad comedic vibe — mostly defined by intercourse-related humor — never meshes with the film’s sadder, more serious undercurrent. Released as counterprogramming during the Cannes fest, pic failed to conceive grandiose results locally.

Paris-based Yann (Clovis Cornillac) and Rose (Olivia Bonamy), in their late 30s to early 40s, want to be unmarried with children. Accomplishing the former is easy, but the latter is giving them a, um, hard time. Pic’s main problem is that it seems afraid auds might not get the jokes; Jeanjean’s setups are often overly explanatory, robbing the vital element of any gag: surprise. Frequent TV-style closeups reinforce the sitcom feel, despite widescreen lensing. Acting from the leads, and Marianne Denicourt and Francois Vincentelli as a fellow couple with fertility issues, is solid sans plus. Craft contributions are similarly OK.

A Burning Desire

France

Production

An SND release of a Les Films du Kiosque presentation and production, in association with SND Groupe M6, with participation of TPS Star, Cinecinema. (International sales: Films Distribution, Paris.) Produced by Francois Kraus, Denis Pineau-Valencienne. Directed by Bernard Jeanjean. Screenplay, Jeanjean, Martine Fontaine.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Axel Cosnefroy; editor, Nathalie Hubert; music, Christophe Julien; production designer, Jean-Philippe Moreaux; costume designer, Josephine Gracia. Reviewed at UGC Cine Cite, Paris, May 27, 2011. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Clovis Cornillac, Olivia Bonamy, Marianne Denicourt, Francois Vincentelli, Pierre-Francois Martin-Laval, Elise Larnicol, Philippe Harel, Martin Lamotte, Jean-Francois Stevenin.
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