Screened as part of NZIFF 2013
In writer-director David Moreau’s hit romantic comedy, the age difference that has characterised a century of French cinema is reversed: 38-year-old fashion editor Alice (Virginie Efira) is romanced by 20-year-old architecture major Balthazar (Pierre Niney) – and it all bubbles along very well indeed. The dialogue is smart, the comic timing well-tuned and the leading duo, both decidedly charming, makes a great match. Niney, the youngest actor ever to be made a member of the Comédie-Française, and soon to be on screen as Yves Saint Laurent, is pretty irresistible: his Balthazar is a very decent, gallant creature.
Fortunately the fanciful, lighthearted comedy doesn’t entirely depend on the difference in age, because it’s not so easy to believe there is a 20-year gap, or that Balthazar is only 20. (In real life, only ten years separate the actors.) There are some good jabs about fashion magazine land, the cult of youth and hipness, not to mention middle-aged men and their apparently not-so-outrageous penchant for younger women. And our leading couple does not get punished. Yay! — Sandra Reid
“Filled with tons of quid pro quos, colorful side characters and rapid-fire gags… The chemistry between Belgian-born TV star Efira and Comédie-Française company member Niney is palpable from start to finish. Efira manages to combine a very Parisian brand of stiletto sultriness with her character’s deeper yearning for true love, while Niney perfectly encapsulates Balthazar’s bumbling earnestness and, later on, his broader emotional intelligence.” — Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter
Film sponsored by Showroom 22