If “Lovers of the Nile” were any more languid, the celluloid would nod off in the projector. Second helming effort (after “Port Djema”) from Eric Heumann — best known as the producer of “Indochine,” “Eternity and a Day” and “In the Mood for Love” — is a valiant but ultimately dopey excuse to revisit the same cocktail shaker of politics and romance in which films like “Casablanca” and “Morocco” were mixed.
It’s 1943 and the war is being fought near the olive plantation in Tunis where Anne (Emma de Caunes) lives with her father (Jacques Nolot). Anne discovers a dead man’s body on the shore and purloins the half-finished love letter in his pocket. Real or imagined flashback-like circumstances take the narcoleptic Anne to Cairo, where — against the backdrop of a luxury hotel and brave soldiers under the command of an eyepatch-wearing colonel (Murray Head) — she meets and sleeps with Samuel (Eric Caravaca, extremely uncharismatic). Stylized pic is playful in its deliberate artifice — car trips feature rear-projected scenery, paintings spring to life — but is ultimately tedious, with dialogue that’s stilted without being poetic.