Although a thin premise endangers its credibility at times, Green Card is a genial, nicely played romance. Gerard Depardieu is winning in the tailor-made role of a French alien who pairs up with New Yorker Andie MacDowell in a marriage of convenience in order to remain legally in the United States.
An Australian-French co-production shot in Gotham and completed Down Under, modest pic is essentially a two-character piece and looks to have been made on a very low budget. Plot is an inversion of the 1930s screwball comedies in which a divorcing couple spend the entire running time getting back together.
Green Card begins with Depardieu and MacDowell, who have scarcely been introduced, getting married, then charts the tricky weekend the two temperamental opposites spend getting to know each other in a hurry when faced with a government probe of their relationship.
Elements that might look hokey on paper – he’s a freewheeling bohemian, she’s an uptight prude; he’s a smoker and enthusiastic carnivore, she practically faints upon exposure to a cigarette or a piece of meat – go down easily because the two leads incorporate these attitudes believably into generally well-rounded characters.
1990: Nomination: Best Original Screenplay