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Priceless

euro for your thoughts...

This movie is in French, with English subtitles.

PG-13

Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh

Irene: I love to watch someone work.  I’m always impressed by people who can do something.  I can’t do anything.  Actually, I can.  I can make conversation.

Jean (Elmaleh) works in a fancy hotel, and one evening is mistaken for a rich guest by Irene (Tautou), a woman who dates rich, older men so they will buy her nice things.  After a night together, Jean doesn’t see Irene again until a year later when she’s back at the hotel.  They get together again, but this time Irene discovers Jean’s secret.  Plus, Jean is fired for inappropriate use of a room.  While still pursuing Irene, Jean ends up taking on a similar lifestyle to hers.

I think that most people who saw Audrey Tautou in Amelie fell in love with her, at least to some extent, pretty instantly.  She was cute, timid and charming…and totally irresistible.  She is definitely not playing the same character in this movie (though she does end up riding on the back of a scooter again at the end).  Not that she isn’t still likable, it’s just now she’s taken on the role of seductress.  She knows just what sort of look to give, and when, and knows how to say all the right things to have these men whipping out their credit cards without a second thought.  She even ends up teaching Jean a few tricks of the trade after she discovers that he’s just a simple hotel worker.

It’s a rather predictable story about a woman discovering that there’s a difference between a man that will buy anything for her and a man that will do anything to help her and make her happy.  Despite its predictability, it’s still enjoyable and sweet.  There’s some arguing, but it avoids the tendency for movies like this to have the characters just yelling at each other for most of the film.  Romantic comedies don’t work if the leads aren’t likable, but they both are here.

There are loads of nice, rich people locations to look at when you’re not looking at Audrey Tautou, and the movie is never boring – even when it’s not being that compelling.  I thought Tautou and Elmaleh were both good when it came to the comedic stuff.  Elmaleh in particular seems to be good at subtle physical humor.  It’s easy to go over the top with physical humor, which usually results in a transition to annoying.  It’s also fun watching his character slowly realize that he can make a living by dating older, rich women as well.  Once he gets the hang of it, he and Irene even start showing off the loot that they’ve scored to each other.

All in all, I can’t say there’s anything overly special about this movie, but it’s still a nice viewing experience.  Of course, I might just be falling victim to Irene’s charms…like every other guy in the movie.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of really really nice stuff.

10 – 1.1 because it drags a little here and there with some redundant scenes – 1 for being predictable and not all that compelling at times – .6 because it could’ve been funnier = 7.3