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Inside Move: ‘Marriage’ offers summer sizzle

Spicy pic stirs French passion at B.O.

Stereotypes aside, even the French can have a boring time in bed — if the number of couples flocking to see Didier Bourdon‘s “Seven Years of Marriage” is any gauge.

The low-budget comedy about a husband and wife’s efforts to spice up their monotonous sex life passed the landmark 1 million admissions mark at the Gallic box office last week, raking in a cool $7 million.

In its fifth week on 450 screens, ticket sales dropped just 2%, to the delight of distribber UFD, the UGC/Fox joint venture, and producer Charles Gassot.

Actor Bourdon’s scripting and helming debut follows Alain, an emergency room doctor played by Bourdon, and Audrey, his primly bourgeois bank-manager wife (Catherine Frot), as their search for inspiration leads them to try everything from porn and sex toys to a spouse-swapping club.

French distribs usually are reticent to release films in the summer, when many Gauls are on extended vacations, but UFD and Gassot apparently have tapped into an urge for leisure of a different sort.

“People are more into the subject of sex in the summertime,” Gassot observes.