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Baby Blues

First incursion by helmer Diane Bertrand ("The Ring Finger") into more comedic fare could do reasonably well with Francophone career women but has little crossover potential either at home or abroad.

An uptight underwear exec pushing 40 gets cold feet about her decision to remain childless in the mild French dramedy “Baby Blues.” First incursion by helmer Diane Bertrand (“The Ring Finger”) into more comedic fare could do reasonably well with Francophone career women but has little crossover potential either at home or abroad. Pic births in Gaul in late November.

Alex (Karin Viard) and Fabrizio (Italo thesp Stefano Accorsi) are an apparently happy couple without kids, though they do have a basset hound. When her manager (Jean-Marc Barr) makes her an offer to relocate to New York for several years, Alex gets broody: She could come back in several years and get an important promotion, but by then it would be too late to become a parent.

However, Fabrizio is largely deaf to Alex’s doubts, as the status quo suits him just fine. Their visits to a psychoanalyst (Valerie Benguigui) — a practice both confess to despise — don’t seem to resolve matters.

Screenplay by Bertrand and Bruno Japy has some chuckle-inducing moments, but lacks overall coherence and believability. Each scene seems to have been written around a punchline, but pic as a whole has little regard for character development or consistency.

The seasoned Viard can do pretty much anything with the right director but is left to her own devices here. Benguigui, as the nutty shrink who goes to an acupuncturist with her own and her clients’ problems, is as out of control as her character’s costumes.

Tech package is in line with other commercial Gallic fare. As in Bertrand’s previous film, the score was written by Beth Gibbons of Brit band Portishead, though the result is only mildly interesting.

Baby Blues

France

  • Production: A Mars Distribution release of a Move Movie presentation and production, in association with France 2 Cinema. (International sales: Other Angle Pictures, Paris.) Produced by Bruno Levy, Saga Blanchard. Directed by Diane Bertrand. Screenplay, Bertrand, Bruno Japy.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD), Damien Morisot; editor, Alice Moine; music, Beth Gibbons; production designer, Isabelle Delbecq; costume designer, Olivier Berriot; sound (Dolby SRD), Laurent Zeilig; casting, Pierre Jacques Benichou. Reviewed at Namur French Film Festival, Belgium, Sept. 30, 2008. Running time: 94 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Karin Viard, Stefano Accorsi, Valerie Benguigui, Jean-Marc Barr, Stephane de Groodt, Sandrine Dumas, Jerome Kircher, Brice Cauvin. (French, Italian dialogue)
  • Music By: