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She’s the kind of girl who gets excited every time her mobile rings, because it might be the beginning of a whole new adventure. If Cécile de France’s perky protagonist is already setting your teeth on edge, this determinedly upbeat Gallic fluff may not be for curmudgeonly old you. Go with the attractively poised Parisian flow, however, and there’s much to enjoy in esteemed screenwriter Danièle Thompson’s latest directorial feature. Arriving from the provinces, Jessica lands a waitressing job at a bar on the swish Avenue Montaigne, whose proximity to a theatre, a concert hall and an auction house sees her mixing with actors (Valérie Lemercier’s TV soap star seeking credibility in Feydeau), musicians (Albert Dupontel’s disenchanted concert pianist) and art collectors (cabby-made-good Claude Brasseur). Ah… life… love… money… Paris!

Yes, it really is that clichéd, but unlike, say, Claude Lelouch at his most saccharine, Thompson never makes a meal of it, while there’s a visual restraint which avoids the cutesiness of ‘Amélie’. Which means we can sit back and watch a parade of French character types, safe in the knowledge that the plotting will give everyone some choice bits before tying it all up at the end. So, de France is ever-beaming, Lemercier provides a masterclass in comic humiliation, Brasseur’s still got his scuffed charisma, and even Dupontel gets away with his hoary art-for-the-proles act. Et voilà! Charming if you’re in the mood.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday February 23 2007
Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Danièle Thompson
Screenwriter: Christopher Thompson, Danièle Thompson
Cast: Cécile de France
Valérie Lemercier
Albert Dupontel
Claude Brasseur
Dani
Christopher Thompson
Laura Morante
Suzanne Flon
Sydney Pollack
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