Priceless DVD Review

Fresh from her stint as a spiritual sleuth of sorts in Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code, petite and perky actress Audrey Tautou turned up in a different sort of investigative mode, in the tangy French confection, Priceless (Hors de Prix). That is, as gold-digging femme fatale Irene, in pursuit of usually elderly and definitely filthy rich men, in order to support for obsessively calculated extravagant and flamboyant materialistic lifestyle.

During a stay at a luxury hotel with her current aging lover, Irene by chance encounters Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a bartender there whom she mistakes for a guest. In no way wanting to disillusion this luscious hottie, Jean feeds her fantasy of him as another man with lots of money to target and seduce. Even going so far as to arrange a tryst with Irene behind her boyfriend’s back, in the currently unoccupied, most expensive luxury suite.

When Jean is outed by the housekeeping staff and she’s tossed out by her boyfriend for her sexual indiscretion, an infuriated Irene takes off for another town on the hunt for a new sugar daddy, and a hopelessly infatuated Jean follows not far behind. And though both find themselves rich, older lovers, with Jean picking up a pointer or two from Irene on how to use sex to milk women for material gain, there’s remorse, redemption and plenty of surprising found love to go around in the end.

Priceless is quite an impressive gem of a movie, however tarnished the flawed protagonists. And its insights into the many ways that money corrupts and dehumanizes emotionally and psychologically, is a sobering reflection on what constitutes genuine fulfillment, and compromised values today.

First Look Home Entertainment

Rated PG-13

3 stars

DVD Feature: Keep Case.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.