Surely the first period rom-com to centre on the speed-typing competitions that were all the rage in the 1950s, Régis Roinsard’s first feature delivers a sparkling Gallic take on what feels like a vintage Hollywood love story. Though the romance between the ambitious trainer-boss played by Romain Duris and Déborah François’ gifted typist follows a well-trodden narrative path, the chemistry between the two leads is positively nuclear, and the film’s effervescent, spot-on evocation of the period is a joy to absorb.
Déborah François (The Page Turner) is a revelation as Rose Pamphyle, the girl from the sticks who rises to become a French speed-typing champion thanks in part to the tutelage of boss Louis Echard (Duris). Louis is a cocky insurance agent battling with a fear of commitment that has already lost him the hand of his childhood sweetheart Marie (The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo).
Packed with period colour this is a film that, like Mad Men, delights us with the detail of an era that still had an uncomplicated appetite for modernity. And the neo-retro soundtrack, with its bursts of Duane Eddy-style guitar or Platters-like vocal harmonies, seals a package that thrives on rhythm and dexterity.
Lee Marshall, Screen International