If there are too many superhero movies in the multiplex, the woe-is-the-bourgeoisie film can be accused of clogging up the arthouse cinemas. Looking For Hortense is another one of those 'we're just like you, but richer and know way more about cheese and have strong opinions on yoghurt' films that we've seen one hundred times already.
ean-Pierre Bacri plays Damien, a Parisian professor who is getting it from all sides: his teenage son (Marin Orcand Tourres) seems be a bit of a selfish asshole; his theatre director wife (Scott Thomas) is contemplating an affair with her lead; his rather difficult father (Rich), who never has time for him, has admitted he sleeps with men; his in-laws come over to have sex in his bathroom; and he's trying to ignore the feelings he has for the charming bookshop assistant Aurore (Carré). Trying to juggle all this proves too much for the put-upon Damien…
ometimes you're watching a movie and a question pops into your head: why does this movie exist? What was it about the story that convinced the writers (director Bonitzer co-writes with Agnés de Sacy) to spend over a year writing it? What did Scott Thomas, back to the usual after Only God Forgives, see in it? There's nothing going on here that engages, apart from the fact that it must be leading somewhere. It doesn't, though. I don't want to spoil it for everyone but nothing really comes of anything. Nothing that was worth all this hassle anyway.
f characters are spoilt and rich, that's fine, but their travails have to be universal if the audience is to engage. Okay, a failing marriage is something people can identify with, but when Bacri doesn't care all that much that his relationship is falling apart, and barely musters a shrug when it all comes out, how are the audience supposed to care? Okay, maybe an illicit affair is something men of a certain age have contemplated, but there is nothing to Damien or Aurore to suggest any kind of chemistry.
aybe Bonitzer is aiming at an audience whose feelings on yoghurt run deeper than infidelity.