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The Ex-Love of My Life

The basic premise of Josiane Balasko's legiter, "The Ex-Love of My Life," is solid, but only snails addicted to molasses could applaud the pacing of her own film adaptation. Expanding the action needlessly drags out comic tale of a writer whose impending nuptuals are thrown for a loop by the appearance of his former wife. Popularity of pic's cast and the original play may translate into local success but this Feb. 2 release seems unlikely to travel extensively.

With:
With: Thierry Lhermitte, Karin Viard, Josiane Balasko, Nadia Fares, Nicolas Silberg, Didier Flamand, Micheline Dax.

The basic premise of Josiane Balasko’s legiter, “The Ex-Love of My Life,” is solid, but only snails addicted to molasses could applaud the pacing of her own film adaptation. Expanding the action needlessly drags out comic tale of a writer whose impending nuptuals are thrown for a loop by the appearance of his former wife. Popularity of pic’s cast and the original play may translate into local success but this Feb. 2 release seems unlikely to travel extensively.

Wedding of pulp-fiction writer Tom Steiner (Thierry Lhermitte) to PR babe Ariane (Nadia Fares) is only two months off when his homeless ex, Nina (Karin Viard), shows up eight months pregnant. Mediating the shenanigans is chunky Dr. Marie-Pierre Sarrasin (Balasko), a shrink specialized in crisis intervention. Script’s one original element, centered on Marie-Pierre, is that she used to be a he, with Balasko making the character a distant relative of her butch lesbian, brimming with self-assurance, in “Gazon maudit.” Performances are utterly game all round, but much of the humor feels forced, including visualising whatever lurid gore scene or cliched romance Tom happens to be writing.

The Ex-Love of My Life

France

Production: A Warner Bros. Pictures France release of a Louis Becker and Josiane Balasko presentation of an ICE 3, Josy Films, 2003 Prods., Warner Bros. France, France 2 Cinema production, with participation of Canal Plus and CineCinema. Produced by Louis Becker, Josiane Balasko. Directed, written by Josiane Balasko, based on her stage play.

Crew: Camera (color), Pascal Gennesseaux; editor, Claudine Merlin; production designer, Olivier Radot;costume designer, Fabienne Katany. Reviewed at Elysees Biarritz, Paris, Jan. 23, 2005. Original title: L' ex-femme de ma vie. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: With: Thierry Lhermitte, Karin Viard, Josiane Balasko, Nadia Fares, Nicolas Silberg, Didier Flamand, Micheline Dax.

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