Bittersweet French Farce Features Unusual Love Triangle
Bertrand Beauvois (Fabrice Luchini) is one of Paris’ top criminal defense attorneys which is why Edith Lassalle (Stephane Audran) retains his services, when she’s arrested for murder in Monaco after allegedly committing a crime of passion. But because the highly-neurotic lawyer has more emotional than conventional baggage, it only makes sense that his concerned client would have to hire a local bodyguard to monitor her client’s movements 24/7.
And right off the bat, beefy chauffeur Christophe (Roschdy Zem) has his hands full. First, Bertrand’s head is turned by Audrey Varella (Louise Bourgoin), a shameless flirt half his age. She’s the popular weather girl on the local TV station, so the fifty-something out-of-towner is understandably flattered to get so much attention from a woman who’s not only young but famous in her own right.
What he doesn’t know, however, is that overzealous Christophe happens to be Audrey’s ex-boyfriend and wants her back. Another fly in the ointment arrives when Bertrand’s mistress, Helene (Jeanne Balabar) shows up unexpectedly from France, and announces that she’s left her husband for him. Having a personal bouncer certainly can come in handy in such a situation.
It’s easy to imagination the tensions which ensue in The Girl from Monaco, a bittersweet farce written and directed by Belgium’s Anne Fontaine. Her unorthodox approach to a triangulated romantic romp makes for a film which is anything but predictable, although the screen is littered with such staples of the genre as coupling, uncoupling, smoking after mating, and ruminating about relationships.
The denouement takes on a more somber tone than expected, given the movie’s relatively breezy beginnings. Till then, the flick is delightful due to the bawdy badinage exchanged against an assortment of breathtaking Monaco backdrops alone. The postman may always ring twice, but a bodyguard doesn’t even have to bother to knock.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for sexuality and profanity.
In French with subtitles
Running time: 95 minutes
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
To order a copy of The Girl from Monaco, visit: B002PI1NR4
Trailer for The Girl from Monaco,