Change Of Address

Change Of Address


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

This must be the Parisian take on a Hollywood rom-com. It is lightweight, inconsequential, faintly amusing and, in the most roundabout way, about love and friendship (and sex).

David plays the French horn. He likes to insist 'professionally'. He is either painfully shy, or socially inept to the point where conversation becomes a stuttering blur. He thinks about girls a lot, although talking to them is like walking through prune juice in a pair of white flannels.

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While searching for somewhere to live, he bumps into Anne, a tall, lissom blonde, who is either missing half her brain, or is intentionally misleading as a way of avoiding emotional involvement. They end up sharing a flat. He is as boring and slow as ever, while she flutters about like a daisy on speed, talking about the great love of her life whom she hasn't spoken to yet.

He is hired to give horn lessons to an introverted 19-year-old, called Julie, who seldom speaks and looks as if she is going to drop off at any moment. David is so desperate, he persuades himself that he loves her, despite minimal encouragement and no physical contact whatsoever. Back in the flat, David tells Anne all about Julie and Anne tells David all about Gabriel, with whom she has shared two or three words and is already planning a romantic holiday abroad. There is a further complication for David, when Julien (Dany Brillant), an international restaurateur (or so he says), gets the hots for Julie and, unlike everyone else in the movie, knows what he's doing.

The comedy feels forced and unrequited. The acting is poor, especially from writer/director Emmanuel Mouret, who succeeds in making David charmless and gauche to the point where a boot in the pants could only improve matters. Frederique Bel overplays the ditsy idiocy of Anne, who should not be allowed out in public without warning lights, and Fanny Valette underplays Julie's passivity so successfully that her sex appeal lies buried beneath acres of ennui.

When a rom-com wastes the rom and loses the com, it is stranded in limbo where only wit can save it.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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Unrequited love in Paris.

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