Eyes meet across a crowded Paris metro carriage. She gets out. Percussion builds. He follows her into a bar. 'Do you know a hotel around here?' They leave together. At least this starts with a teasing come-on, but it shares the problem faced by its central couple, Mado (Faysse) and Yves (Fortineau): how to recapture the thrill of that run-up to hot sex with a nameless stranger? Though she's not particularly interested after the deed is done, he gives her his phone number. She's married with a teenage son; husband Jean keeps a little antiques business ticking over, while she earns her crust acting in rather-too-pretentious radio plays. Perhaps that lightning strike of excitement is missing from her life, after all. It's a classic set-up. However, writer/director Dupeyron's flabby, uninspired treatment lets it go for almost nothing. As the couple trawl the Pigalle hotels and agonise over their uncertain future, one hopes for a shard of insight, another angle on the old eternal threesome that would lift the film from its torpor. In vain.
Cast and crew
Dominique Faysse Thierry Fortineau Jean-Marie Winling Steve Kalfa Daniel Laloux Christophe Pichon Dominique Abel Roland Amstutz