My Piece of the Pie

Film
3 out of 5 stars
My Piece of the Pie

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

France is in trouble. Not the country France---although, well, we'll get to that---but a working-class woman (Viard, flailingly committed) who lives in the city of Dunkirk. At the start of Cdric Klapisch's ambitious romance-satire, this spirited gal loses her job and attempts suicide. (Quite an introduction.) The man semiresponsible for her plight is Steve (Lellouche, like the love child of Edward G. Robinson and a proboscis monkey), a London-based French stockbroker whose shady megadealings resulted in the shuttering of the factory where France worked for years. Her let's-end-it-all overreaction aside, France is determined to overcome this crisis, and through a number of coincidences---call it karma, or simply contrivance---she ends up working as Steve's maid, after he moves to Paris to start his own firm.

From here, My Piece of the Pie settles into a light romantic-comedy groove: Steve's kid from a previous relationship appears on his doorstep; France agrees to take care of him, so dad can do his dastardly business; and it's clear that these two social and emotional opposites are headed for a roll in the hay. These scenes are all well performed and compelling, especially when the action is confined to Steve's obscenely affluent apartment, but they're still mostly a feint. Klapisch shows his hand after the film takes a left turn into some proletariat call-to-arms shenanigans---there's a reason she's named France, see?---that feel egregiously out of place. A Euro gloss on Pretty Woman suddenly turns into Occupy Gaul.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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