Romantics Anonymous

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Benot Poelvoorde and Isabel Carr in Romantics Anonymous

Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl faints and boy jumps out the bathroom window. In Jean-Pierre Amris's sweet-natured romantic comedy, an intensely phobic chocolatier (Poelvoorde) combats a litany of his biggest fears to court a cripplingly bashful baker (Carr). There's zero doubt these Gallic neurotics will end up together, but writer-director Amris gives their pas de deux the novelty of manifest pathology. Anxieties seem inhabited rather than quirkily ornamental, with Carr flashing ambiguously stricken grins and Poelvoorde playing a slapstick hero whose every breath threatens panic. It's no recipe for hilarity or pitter-pattering hearts, but like our hero's sweets, this pleasant, delicate confection goes down easy enough.

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