Writer/Director: David Foenkinos, Stephane Foenkinos (first feature film) Genre: Humor | Romance (108 minutes) French with subtitles
"What will she order? Nothing humdrum like coffee..." Francois and Nathalie enjoy replaying their first meeting at Les Cailloux. Falling in love was so easy then. When he proposed, it was totally spontaneous... he put his key ring on her finger... and she said yes. Nathalie had it all... a new job, a handsome, loving husband and plans for the future. But it all ends suddenly when Francois is killed in an accident. At the funeral, all Nathalie can think is, "What if I am frozen in this moment."
When Nathalie finally returns to work, she tells her boss Charles to "pile on the work." Charles, who has always had his eye on Nathalie, thinks "tragedy has only made her more beautiful." Three years later, all Nathalie's hard work has paid off, and she's gotten a big promotion. When Charles takes her out to celebrate, he once again makes a pass. But this time Nathalie makes it quite clear that she truly has no interest. Nathalie's coworkers can't help but wonder when she'll get over losing Francois. As it happens, Nathalie works in a very stylish office, but there's one person who doesn't fit the mold... the guy in accounting, Markus Lundl. Perhaps she'd been daydreaming, but when Markus comes up to Nathalie's office to ask her about case 114, Nathalie slowly get's up from her desk, walks across the office and kisses Markus passionately. It's a life-altering moment for Markus... but by the next day, Nathalie seems to have forgotten all about the kiss.
The kiss is the beginning of a friendship between Marcus and his beautiful boss. They hardly look like a couple though... Nathalie is petite, elegant and gorgeous, while Markus is an oversized bear of a man, whom Charles calls "ugly and insignificant." (Ouch!) But maybe good looks and status aren't what matters most to Nathalie at this point. Markus is afraid of falling in love with Nathalie... but it's really too late. Nathalie is aware that others find their relationship odd... but they're "just friends" ... at least that's what Nathalie thinks. We figure out early on where this is going... it's a romance story, after all. But the journey is what's important... and Audrey Tautou's portrayal of Nathalie, which is both moving and charming... a truly outstanding performance. If this were an American film, Markus would grow on us a bit more as the story develops. But the French prefer subtly. So, while Markus clearly has many nice qualities, the chemistry won't totally work for some moviegoers. But we root for him anyway because we believe Nathalie deserves to find happiness again... and Markus clearly isn't Francois.
3 popped kernels (Scale: 0-4) She never would have fallen for this ugly duckling the first time around... but everything is different this time Popcorn Profile Rated: PG-13 Audience: Young adults & Grown-ups Gender: Co-ed Distribution: Art house Mood: Upbeat Tempo: Cruises comfortably Visual Style: Nicely varnished realism Character Development: Engaging Language: True to life Social Significance: Pure entertainment
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