A woman (Gayet) asks a stranger (Cohen) for directions. They have dinner together, wine is consumed, and the gentleman later leans in to give her a good-night kiss. The lady demurs: Such innocent displays of affection often lead to problems, and she has a lengthy anecdote to back up her assertion. Once upon a time, two close friends—a lab assistant (Ledoyen) and a teacher (Mouret)—have sex with each other, in order to cure the latter’s pathetic loneliness. (Opportunistic males with BFFs who look like models and have no compunction about sleeping with other men’s wives, take note.) After the single most polite coupling ever to grace Gallic cinema, the duo realize they have incomparable physical chemistry. Complications, naturally, ensue.
A bedroom farce so featherlight that you’re afraid the film might dissolve into pure froth, Emmanuel Mouret’s chatty comedy plays like a Rohmeresque moral tale minus any heft or higher ethics. Intellectual pretensions are trotted out—one conversation takes place in front of a large portrait of Schubert—yet everything remains mired in bourgie rom-com cuteness and Pottery Barn aesthetics. All of which makes the climax that much more shocking; when the film’s flirtatious framing device finally delivers, the switch from throwaway coyness to slow-burn eroticism is damned near dizzying.