12/27/2011

Priceless: A very shallow beauty

This French romantic comedy is being touted as the new Breakfast At Tiffany's.
Certainly, the delectable if diminutive  (who first achieved stardom as Amelie) is the nearest modern cinema has to Audrey Hepburn, and there are moments when the film captures the suave sophistication of other Riviera-based tales, such as To Catch A Thief.
Audrey Tautou
stars as Irene in Priceless


Some will find the movie enchanting for its sophisticated production design and glossy cinematography. Tautou has never looked prettier, and the film goes some way to restoring her reputation after the public humiliation of The Da Vinci Code.
Unfortunately, writer-director Pierre Salvadori never surmounts the central problem of the movie, which is that his two lovers are extraordinarily unpleasant. Tautou plays Irene, a shameless gold-digger who sells her body to elderly millionaires in exchange for high-priced gifts.
However adorably she plays the character, she's a tart, and irredeemably self-centred.
The hero is Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a shy waiter with the dolefulness of the young Buster Keaton. Irene seduces him under the impression he is wealthy, but dumps him once she realises he is poor.
The lovelorn Jean pursues her to the Cote d'Azur, where he becomes the kept man of a rich woman (Marie-Christine Adam) while continuing his romantic pursuit of Irene.
Salvadori spares us the sexual details of the financially motivated liaisons, but he can't disguise their sordid nature; as a result, few viewers will care if our hero and heroine end up together.
Verdict: It's not priceless

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