out of Five
Running time: 105
Hugely enjoyable, utterly charming French romcom with a terrific script and fantastic performances from its two leads.
What's it all about?
Directed by Pierre Salvadori, Priceless stars Gad Elmaleh as Jean, a shy, slightly dopey-looking waiter at a grand hotel on the Riviera. One night he meets beautiful gold-digger Irene (Audrey Tautou), who seduces him, in the mistaken belief that he's a millionaire.
When Irene discovers the truth she beats a hasty retreat, only for a lovestruck Jean to follow her to the Cote d'Azur and spend his savings trying to keep her in the style to which she's become accustomed. However, after Irene drains his finances, Jean decides to play her at her own game and sets himself up as a male gigolo to a wealthy widow (Marie-Christine Adam), with Irene offering helpful advice.
The performances are superb – Elmaleh has terrific comic timing and a blank-faced, deadpan demeanour that's reminiscent of Buster Keaton, while Audrey Tautou is delightful and manages to keep Irene sympathetic, despite her scheming, gold-digging ways. There's also strong support from Marie-Christine Adam and from the gorgeous Annelise Hesme (from the Renault Clio ads) as a rival gold-digger.
Of course, this being a romcom, you're never really in any doubt as to how it'll all end up, but there are enough twists and turns along the way to keep you hooked. Also, Tautou wears a series of sensational dresses, if you like that sort of thing.
In short, Priceless is an utterly charming romcom that delivers the perfect blend of romance and comedy. Highly recommended.
Priceless (Hors De Prix) (12A)