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Bachelor Days Are Over

This not-particularly-amusing comedy of (bad) manners centered on a group of unsympathetic characters seems destined for niche domestic audiences.

With:
With: Benjamin Biolay, Emmanuelle Devos, Nicole Garcia, Valerie Donzelli, Sarah Adler, Eric Lartigau, Rodolphe Dana, Jean-Noel Cnockaert, Nadir Legrand. (French, Hebrew, Arabic dialogue)

With his wedding looming, a neurotic groom-to-be suffers a bad case of cold feet in “Bachelor Days Are Over,” the feature debut of actress-turned-helmer Katia Lewkowicz. Set in a well-heeled, bourgeois milieu and boasting a name cast indulging in plenty of French-style rude behavior, this not-particularly-amusing comedy of (bad) manners centered on a group of unsympathetic characters seems destined for niche domestic audiences, and is unlikely to translate in non-French lingo countries.

During his bachelor party, the ambivalent groom (singer-songwriter-record producer and sometime actor Benjamin Biolay) strikes up a torrid affair with a willing chanteuse (Sarah Adler). The flighty bride-to-be (Valerie Donzelli, co-director of “Declaration of War, also in Cannes Critics’ Week) disappears as her Algerian-Israeli relatives arrive en masse, leaving the groom’s sneering sister (Emmanuelle Devos) to unwillingly pitch in with arrangements while their self-involved mother (Nicole Garcia) prefers to entertain her bridge group. Shot in a quasi-realist style with cutting that serves to both draw out and speed up time, the tempo mimics the mood swings and panic felt by the groom. Narrative is framed by stylized talking-head shots of the groom’s friends discussing the couple.

Bachelor Days Are Over

France

Production: A Le Pacte release of a Panorama Films production in co-production with LGM Cinema, Le Pacte. (International sales: Le Pacte, Paris.) Produced by Gregory Barrey. Co-producers, Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Jean Labadie. Directed, written by Katia Lewkowicz.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Laurent Brunet; editor, Celia Lafite Dupont; production designer, Francois-Renaud Labarthe. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Critics' Week, closer), May 19, 2011. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Benjamin Biolay, Emmanuelle Devos, Nicole Garcia, Valerie Donzelli, Sarah Adler, Eric Lartigau, Rodolphe Dana, Jean-Noel Cnockaert, Nadir Legrand. (French, Hebrew, Arabic dialogue)

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