- Genre: Romance
- Cert: 12A
- Details: France / 108mins
Audrey Tautou has been coasting on her Amelie role for ten years now and the real reason men crawl over hot coals for her in her subsequent movies – whether it's her vacant money-grabber Iréne in Priceless, the stern and dull Coco Chanel or her grumpy Emilie in Beautiful Lies - is that they are really pursuing that quirky Parisian gamine. Truth be told, Tautou isn't as dour as she usual is in this sometimes-fun romantic comedy but languid plotting doesn't help her out.
When her husband tragically dies after three years of married bliss, Nathalie (Tautou) throws herself into work, fending off the advances of her married boss, Charles (Todeschini), who, in his defence, leaves it some time before making his move. But Nathalie is as surprised as anyone when she, despite herself, falls for the bumbling, balding Swede Markus (Damiens). Markus wouldn't even dream of someone like Nathalie falling for him and was caught unawares when she suddenly grabbed and kissed him in her office, but that she did and an awkward and unsure romance develops...
Adapted from David Foenkinos' novel by himself and his brother Stéphane, Delicacy is a light romp despite death and grief propelling the shenanigans; it goes without saying that neither really make an impact on the tone in what is begging to be a Hollywood remake starring Jennifer Aniston. The remake might have to swap the clichéd romantic walk across an illuminated bridge with the Eifel Tower in the background that we see here, but they'll cook something up – just ask Cameron Crowe to direct it.
The remake better iron out a few problems, though. The Markus character, the character that drags Nathalie out of her emotional funk, appears far too late for a romantic comedy – Damiens shuffles onto the screen way past the half hour mark, far too late to invest in him. After that there isn't much delving into who he is past his Hugh Grantisms: apparently all we need to know is that he's shy, balding and sleeps on a futon - we've to fill in the blanks ourselves. Described here as 'ugly' and 'insignificant', comic Damiens (think the French Sacha Baron Cohen) makes an unconventional leading man and once he does finally appear Delicacy becomes a different movie – a better one.
Tautou must have took some likeable pills because this is the most approachable she's been in years. Grounded but without getting bogged down in moodiness, which oddly would be acceptable considering what Nathalie has been through, she's entertaining here. She's let down by a plot that is lackadaisical and without a strong narrative drive, Delicacy wanders about the place looking for something to do. When it eventually finds it, things do step up a gear and Delicacy approaches something amiable.
Review by Gavin Burke | 12:16 | Thursday 5th April 2012 | Movie Review
Is Audrey Tautou the French Sandra Bullock? Given her recent output, you wouldn't be too wrong. The gamine star of Amelie is very talented but sometimes the material she works with feels beneath her talent. Delicacy just about manages to keep up with her. It's a sweet-natured and wryly amusing workplace romcom, but with a touch of tragedy too. Tautou is in typically quirky mode as a woman whose husband suddenly dies. Still in mourning three years later, she thinks it impossible that she could connect with another man. Then along comes lumbering Swede Markus, who looks a lot like Richard Dreyfuss. Their unlikely but tender romance blossoms, much to the surprise of everyone else... Delicacy isn't as memorable as that landmark of French cinema Amelie, but there's enough humour and warmth in the characters to make you care about them. Worth a look.Posted 19:46 | Sun 15th Apr 2012
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