After Pot Luck and Russian Dolls comes the third part in Cedric Klapish’s light comedy of modern life and romance. The setting is different again, now we are in New York (after Barcelona and St Petersburg), but the characters are the same – older, not much wiser and terrified of approaching the dreaded 40.
Romain Duris and Kelly Reilly, the apparently golden couple, have split. She has met a bland millionaire in New York and leaves him, taking their two young kids with them. Devastated, he follows, determined to keep in touch with his offspring but with little prospects. He does have some help though, in the form of Cecile de France, his lesbian pal who he has helped get pregnant, and who is living in Brooklyn with her partner. He also has a flying visit from Audrey Tatou, who is determined to throw aside her stuffy past and become a go-getter, and has a business meeting in Manhattan with a Chinese company to broker a huge deal.
With its gorgeous setting of New York in spring, good looking people and lots of drinking wine and philosophising, the film feels very sub-Woody Allen. It’s certainly charming, thanks to Duris and Tatou, and rolls alomg agreeably without ever leaving much of a trace. The problem is that these people’s problems are So first world and thirtysomething. Should you give your lesbian friend your sperm? Should you be pals with her partner? And what about your partner’s new lover, should you like him or punch him?
There are plenty of nice, quirky moments along the way, mainly involving Duris. He is trying to write a novel, and has occasional visits from various philosophers – Hegel was my favourite – and sees New York through the eyes of a tourist, which is sometimes illuminating, so,etimes trite. When he saves a Korean taxi driver from a mugging and meets his daughter, the results are hilarious and touching at the same time. There are lots of visual quirks too,his porno magazine in the sperm bank comes to life, the metro does similar, and ther are plenty of flourishes.
There was a time when Reilly was the bright young star of British cinema, and turned in a couple of decent performances. Here, in fact in the whole trilogy, ahe has become unsufferable, constantly peering up through her fringe like a modern day Princess Diana, moaning and looking like she has indigestion. It’s the one weak link in an otherwise solid cast on good form, and clearly enjoying the,selves. Whether we are having as much fun is moot.
Overall Verdict: Perfectly enjoyable light comedy of manners, which is as fluffy as a meringue, and has about as much flavour.
Reviewer: Mike Martin