Heartbreaker aka L’Arnacoeur (6/10)
Run time 104 minutes
OK for children.
In this French farce, Alex Lippi (Romain Duris) has
a job. That job is to break up couples. But he has one rule; he will
only break up a couple if the woman is unhappy. Alas, he breaks that
rule when he accepts the assignment from Juliette’s father to break up
the pending marriage of Juliette (Vanessa Paradis), a 30-year-old
gorgeous, athletic, brilliant woman who is scheduled to marry Jonathan
(Andrew Lincoln), a nice, rich guy with no faults.
Ably directed by Pascal Chaumeil, the film has
locations in the South of France that are more romantic than the movie,
and Chaumeil makes the best use of them. However, beautiful as the
scenery is, it takes a deep back seat to the beauty of Paradis. When
she’s on screen, the scenery seems to disappear.
Alex is joined in his job by his sister, Mélanie
(Julie Ferrier) and brother-in-law, Marc (François Damiens), a simple,
honest, and kind guy who yearns to be the ladykiller Alex is. Mélanie
describes Alex’s job by saying that he never sleeps with his targets.
“We open their eyes, not their legs.”
The story is a bit convoluted. Alex apparently owes
money to someone and there are two guys who are in the background
providing a threat to him. I never got it really straight why Juliette’s
father wanted to break them up and who the two bad guys were and for
whom they were working. I asked the people who sat next to me after the
movie ended about what exactly was going on and neither of them
understood it perfectly, either, and one of them was French, so could
understand the dialogue.
As to that, the subtitles were inferior, often
blending in with the background, which made understanding even more
difficult. Lessening the impact was the music (Klaus Badelt). A farce
depends mightily on the music to frame the action and this score isn’t
up to the task.
While it’s relatively entertaining, I’ve seen
better. In French.