Vet French actor Richard Berry directs his own disappointingly forced screenplay adaptation of “The (Delicate) Art of Seduction.” Tale of an ordinary guy who whips himself into shape for an unconventional date with a babe plays like a tepid cross between “Rocky” and any number of prick-teasing comedies, resulting in The (Lukewarm) Mechanics of Boredom.
Short, semi-pudgy Etienne (Patrick Timsit), 40, is an admired auto designer. Just after Christmas, his philandering buddy, Jacques (Berry), introduces him to blonde, bodacious Laure (Cecile De France), a huge fan of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” On Jan. 1, Laure, who loves “waiting,” declares they’ll have sex on May 27 at 9 p.m. sharp. Taking a job hiatus, Etienne works out and studies sexual mastery with a guru and various hookers in preparation for the big day — which isn’t that big after all. Unlike most sexual encounters — ideal or otherwise — pic is seemingly endless. Timsit and De France gamely inhabit their roles, but on the tech side there is an arbitrary feel to many of the camera movements.