Heartbreaker/L’Arnacoeur review

24 Dec


It is a little known fact that French cinema is at the moment undergoing a golden era. Riding the crest of this golden wave of glittering gallic masterpieces are a few exceptionally well produced pieces, of which Heartbreaker is an example.

Starring Roman Duris as a conman whose job is to break up couples, Heartbreaker follows the story of this Duris, hired to break up Vanessa Paradis from her fiancé on the wishes of her gangster father. At first it seems impossible, she is seemingly completely in love with her fiancé who has it all, riches, looks, charm and a philanthropic spirit. To make it worse, Duris falls for Paradis and has a time limit of five days before the happy couple’s long awaited marriage.

What ensues is an exceedingly well crafted, beautifully shot and well scripted feature that will melt all but the hardest of hearts with its blend of pitch perfect casting and sardonic humour. Duris and Paradis share an easy chemistry, helped immeasurably by the sights, sounds and sunny weather of Monaco. Providing excellent comic foil are his partners in crime, his sister and her husband. By turns assaulting rabid nymphomaniacs and impersonating Milanese race car drivers, there is rarely a slow moment.

Well incorporated into the mix are heavy doses of Dirty Dancing. That’s right, Patrick Swayze doing his thing, in a French movie. Before every male reader turns his head and groans, bear with me. This film is that rarest of gems, a romcom that both celebrates and exemplifies the genre while simultaneously being both a send up and a satire. The fourth wall is pulled down brick by brick in several encounters while the ending is both archetypal and unique.

As can be ascertained from this glowing review, there are a great many positive aspects to this film and very few reasons not to haul yourself to the cinema to see it. Unless you are allergic to subtitles (sous-titres), see this movie.


Sean Cameron


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