French Film (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner13/05/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 87 mins

Engaging, frequently amusing and surprisingly thoughtful British romcom, enlivened by strong performances from its four leads and a likeable comic turn from Cantona.

What's it all about?
Thankfully not in the same vein as the likes of Date Movie, Epic Movie and Disaster Movie, French Film is a British romcom starring Hugh Bonneville as Jed Winter, a journalist who's researching acclaimed French film director Thierry Grimandi (Eric Cantona) for an onstage NFT interview. Initially dismissing Grimandi's views on life, love and cinema as pretentious rubbish, Jed finds himself forced to reassess his views on love and relationships when Cheryl (Victoria Hamilton), his girlfriend of ten years, rejects his marriage proposal.

To make matters worse, Jed begins to realise that he's actually in love with for his friend Sophie (Anne-Marie Duff), who's been going out with his friend Marcus (Douglas Henshall) for the past two years. But when Marcus re-encounters his (French) childhood sweetheart and considers ending things with Sophie, Jed's placed in a difficult position.

The Good
Hugh Bonneville does a good job of making Jed both likeable and sympathetic, which is just as well, since the audience are just as likely to side with Cheryl as with Jed in the relationship counselling scenes. There's also strong support from Hamilton, Henshall and Duff, while Eric Cantona elevates chin-stroking to an art form in an amusing comic turn as Grimandi.

The film is intercut with frequent cuts to Grimandi's DVD interview, alongside scenes from one of his films in which a relationship begins after a woman is mistaken for a prostitute. This allows for much thoughtful discussion about the beginnings and endings of relationships, while also asking provocative questions about the possibility of real love, as opposed to settling for something comfortable.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it's not quite funny enough to really work as a comedy, though the relationship element is well handled.

Worth seeing?
In short, French Film is an enjoyable British romcom that's light on laughs but ultimately succeeds thanks to likeable performances and a thoughtful script. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

French Film (15)
Be the first to review French Film...
image
01 Shaun the Sheep Movie (tbc)

Shaun the Sheep

image
02 The Minions Movie (tbc)

Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock

image
03 The Interview (tbc)

Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, James Franco

image
04 Black Sea (15)

Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies

image
05 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stev...

Content updated: 21/12/2014 20:53

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves come to the end of their journey in the third and final part of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of Tolkien's novel.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films