Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs anonymes)

05 May

Angelique (played by Isabelle Carre) has loved chocolate all her life – to the point where she has found her calling – to make chocolate for the world! … just as long as she never actually has to talk with anyone about it. She is excruciatingly shy and can never find the confidence to hold a conversation. She’s been this way her entire life too, apart from when she’s left alone to make her chocolate. She regularly attends a group where they share similar problems and sometimes this helps. Elsewhere in town, Jean-Rene (by Benoit Poelvoorde) has built a small business, but it’s struggling and he needs some good staff. He’s also a painfully shy man, not experienced in worldly things beyond his chocolate business. One day, Angelique plucks up the courage and applies for a job at Jean-Rene’s factory. He’s immediately taken with her and hires her on-the-spot – but as he acts so hastily, there’s a mix-up – Angelique is hired as a sales person, not a chocolate maker. She’s attracted to him too, but doesn’t really know what to do, nor does she want to complicate her new job. But when she realises Jean-Rene’s business is in trouble, she knows she must be brave and do what she can to help him …

Ok … I get it … the people in the movie are so desperately awkward and incapable of a successful interaction that the director wants the audience to feel it. He is successful … when watching this I felt utter frustration for these people who wanted to become friends but just didn’t know how. It is a good thing the movie is short – after about half an hour I kept hoping it would hurry up and get to the end, so I could see what happens between them. The story itself is sweet and it has a nice ending, but the drama had a bit of a mis-match – I felt real endearment for Angelique as she is quite charming and somehow very vulnerable, but strong with it. However, to me Jean-Rene is implausible as the naive bumbling man. How can he possibly have built a business and kept his staff etc if he is as inexplicably unable to interact with people as he is meant to be? The interactions with his therapist don’t help either, they just make it seem even more unlikely. Perhaps that’s where the comedy’s supposed to be, but I missed it. It’s okay, but not great. The strong performances of the two lead characters save it.

Made in 2010. Directed by Jean-Pierre Ameris

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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Movies


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