April 2, 2008
Reviewer: Maria Komodore
Rating (out of 5): ***
Starring French actor extraordinaire Daniel Auteuil (probably most known to American audiences for his extraordinary performance in Michael Haneke’s Caché, among many other diverse films), Aprés Vous is an entertaining romantic comedy by Tunisia-born filmmaker Pierre Salvadori.
Autueil plays Antoine who, while on his way to meet his girlfriend Christine (Marilyne Canto), runs into a stranger, Louis (José Garcia), who’s trying to commit suicide. Affected by Louis’ unstable emotional state, Antoine decides to take him in, much to Christine’s dismay, demonstrating an unusual amount of kind-heartedness and generosity. Showing a suspiciously big interest in Louis’ well-being Antoine not only lets him stay at his apartment, but also manages to get him a job as a sommelier in the fancy restaurant where he works as a waiter, and fabricates intricate conspiracies to get him back together with Blanche (Sandrine Kiberlain)—the woman who Louis almost took away his own life for. Of course things take a very different turn when, despite his seemingly pure intentions, Antoine finds himself falling for Blanche.
Although Après Vous is fairly predictable, and at times even a bit corny, the suggestion it makes that behind Antoine’s innocent motives to help Louis get back on his feet lies a reluctance to deal with his own life, gives the film a depth that is missing from most mainstream comedies. In addition, the ease with which Antoine manipulates people in order to achieve his superficially altruistic goals as well as the inconsiderate way in which he treats his girlfriend, lend Après Vous a discreetly sour undercurrent which also adds to the film. And, as always, Auteuil’s nuanced performance is one of the movie’s most enjoyable features.
Après Vousis no classic, nor will it rouse any soul stirring questions. But it manages to be amusing without being dumb, which sets it apart from many other films of its type.
Posted by cphillips at April 2, 2008 2:02 PM