One Fine Day

One Fine Day


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The ultimate loser hero must be Woody Allen. He would certainly have made a better job of One Fine Day. This conceit lacks the one ingredient essential - charm - and has a protagonist who isn't very nice.

Francois is accident prone. Bad things happen to him on a regular basis. His coffee machine explodes in his face. His wife wants a divorce. His boss at the bank complains about his work. The newspaper seller and the doorman are rude to him. The neon strip lighting in his office has hiccups. Everyone hates him, except for a middle-aged secretary who brings him tea with honey.

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After 15 minutes in his company, you get the message. Francois is not likeable. He is selfish, self-pitying, weak, paranoid and bored. He is neither attractive nor funny. He is like the most unpopular boy at school, who conforms to expected behaviour. If things went well he wouldn't know what to do.

Hey! That's the movie. Things do start going well. Everything bad that happened on Monday comes good on Tuesday and he can't handle it. His essential negativity and need to blame everyone else for his own shortcomings has nothing to feed off. Success is another country and he hasn't yet learnt the language.

Much depends upon the performance of Benoit Poelvoorde, whose initial claim to fame was the role of serial killer in the shocking mockumentary Man Bites Dog (1992). His comedic style remains hangdog. He doesn't want to be loved; he needs to be kicked.

In the old days, Danny Kaye would have played this part and turned it into high farce. For the Hollywood remake, it has Steve Carrell, or Martin Short, written all over it. Even a grouch like Bill Murray could find empathy for a bad luck magnet like Francois. Sadly, Poelvoorde the actor outweighs Poelvoorde the comedian and this nasty man remains nasty, despite a brief moment of fantasy during a musical number.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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A loser gets lucky and finds that happiness is a decision he can't take.

Director: Philippe le Guay

Writer: Olivier Dazat, Philippe le Guay

Starring: Benoit Poelvoorde, Bernard Bloch, Anne Consigny, Constance Dolle, Anne Le Ny

Year: 2006

Runtime: 93 minutes

Country: France


EIFF 2006

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