A delightful French Comedy
O. LECONTE | Lille,France | 02/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been looking for this title in the US as a gift for my American friends...and it has finally come out !
Since this is the first review, i need to recommend this title heartily !
The movie opened in France a couple of years back with very good reviews and was a nice success...
The storyline :
Luis (Alain Chabat), a fortysomething bachelor, works for a perfume company and is known as a 'nose' (e.g. one who creates perfumes), he has an overbearing family of one mother & five sisters... who think it is about time he got married.
He eventually sets up a plan NOT to get married, hiring one of his colleagues' sister Emma (Charlotte Gainsbourg) for a very peculiar 'job'...
The rest you'll find out renting or buying this DVD !
The performances are delightful throughout, Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of late french singer Serge Gainsbourg and singer/actress Jane Birkin) bring warmth and wit to their characters, the mother (Bernadette Lafont) is her usual funny self !
The first time i watched it a few scenes had me in stitches !
So... if you're looking for a movie to make you forget your worries for 90mn... This is IT !
Daniel G. Lebryk | 08/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a little French comedy that kind of sneaked up on me, turned out to be funny and romantic, without being sappy. It is pretty typical of popular French films, good ensemble cast, good filming, beautiful locations, sexual tension, and a simple story.
Luis is "the nose" at a perfume company. He is the only son with five sisters and a mother; his father Hercules died when Luis was young. Luis is 42 and unmarried. His sisters and mother not only do his laundry and are essentially his wives; they also rule his life. At dinner they decide it is time for Luis to get married. They place ads for him, chat on line with potential dates, and set him up over and over again. Finally he tires of this, in order to get his sisters and mother off his back, he decides to hire a girl to agree to marry him, but leave him at the altar (in the French case, its not show up at City Hall for the official legal wedding). He hires Emma (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The humor really starts at this time.
I happen to love Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Charlotte has the beauty and subtle sexiness of her mother. Her voice and look is reminiscent of Jane Birkin's singing voice and acting during the 70's. Charlotte delivers a funny and sexy performance in I Do (or Prete-moi Ta Main - literally lend me your hand in marriage). The chemistry builds very slowly with Luis (Alain Chabat, a fairly well known character actor in France). This slow build is just exactly right, its courtship at its best. The sisters are just so funny at telling Luis what to do. The whole cast is pretty decent.
The film is 90 minutes long. The last 20 minutes are a bit long, the film needed to get moving a bit more at the end. Otherwise the pacing was excellent up that point. The scenes in Paris are beautiful. Its worth looking up from the subtitles to study the background - Places des Vosges, Hotel de Ville, and some other random squares. Luis is truly a skinflint at spending money, he drives a very old Peugeot 504, in contrast to the amount of money he actually pays Emma. The framing, movement, and cutting are all work a day standard fare; nothing creative or new, just well done.
I Do is only available in French with English subtitles off or on. The translation is generally pretty good. There was an odd slip when Emma and Luis are talking about money and the French was 3,000 but the subtitle said 5,000. Oh nothing serious.
The film is not rated, but would probably be R for language, sexual references, and a few kinky scenes. There is no nudity. In France, this film is U 'All Audiences.' The DVD contains a few extra features not very worth watching. Deleted scenes, all needed to stay deleted. A goof reel that is edited for the jokes, not funny. A Making Of Featurette about 23 minutes long, very bad. A producers version of the trailer for the film - sort of tells the whole story all the way to the end. And finally previews from Lions Gate.
With some funny jokes. Some good sexual humor. An interesting story that does show how not so bright men can be. A very lovely Charlotte Gainsbourg. Makes for an enjoyable film worth watching."
Another evidence about the originality of the French comedy!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 05/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This clever comedy turns around the pathetic human condition about a mature man (43) who works as "the nose" a term that is used for those like him, designing new aromatic essences, still is single due simply the marriage is not included among his existential priorities.
But his numerous family (composed of five sisters, a dominating mother, four brothers in law) has voted democratically he has to get marry. And so, a set of funny events will take place around this situation. But he has another plan in mind.
An amazing plot will entertain you from start to finish. Amusing, delightful and smart easy to watch comedy. Another jewel of the crown in which concerns creativity in this formidable release of the French Cinema.
Don't miss it. Plenty of laughable situations.
Not nearly charming enough for me
m.a.r.i.l.y.n | East Coast, USA | 11/01/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm admittedly on a French cinema kick at the moment, and having hit pay dirt with my last two viewings (The Closet, A Very Long Engagement) I had high expectations for I Do based on the 4- and 5-star reviews here on Amazon. Unfortunately, I've either set the bar too high, or I'm unfairly comparing it to the aforementioned French gems. Either way, I'm disappointed.
Prête-moi ta main (the original French title) centers around Luis Costa (Alain Chabat), the lone XY chromosome in a sea of female siblings. Luis is a nose, creating scents for a major cosmetics company run by a melodramatic CEO. His best friend is a skinflint co-worker who would rather starve than pay for coffee. Luis is pleased with his life, as-is, until an evening meal with his mother and sisters. The movie jumps the shark in the first 15-minutes when - without any real build up - his sisters turn on him all at once (they are tired of handling chores that would be expected of a wife, such as laundry) and inform him he will be married.
Even if I believed they could dictate to a 40-something year old man that he was going to marry - and honestly, I don't buy that part one bit - things take a turn for the bizarre when Luis decides he's going to fake a marriage to get them all off his back. Enter the miser's sister Emma (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is currently single and jobless, but wants to adopt a child. It's hardly unexpected that they don't hit it off - otherwise the movie would be over in 30 minutes - and of course a series of comic high jinks and misunderstandings follow.
There are a number of very funny moments, and to their credit the actors commit themselves to the roles. The problem is, even after 80 minutes there really doesn't seem to be any reason for the two of them to get together. Friends? Maybe. Love and romance? Quoi!? Luis has consistently been a heel, and Emma's expressed little interest beyond her possible adoption. Formula demands that the two get together, but much the way the movie started off with an unbelievable familial demand, it ends with a poorly engineered pairing. Discovering the other person is not a complete jerk transforms mercenary tendencies to true-love in seconds. It's as implausible as... having your sisters dictate to you when you're going to marry.
For me, compared to the wonderful fare offered by other French directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Francis Veber, this falls short. I won't say I regret seeing it, however I am thankful it was a library loaner."