A review of ďApres VousĒ by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: R for adult situations.In French with English subtitles

Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

 

Nobody does romantic farce quite like the French, in particular lightweight comedies about love, destiny and attempted suicide.

Good Samaritan Antoine (Auteuil) enjoys his job as a waiter at a Paris brasserie and dotes on girlfriend Christine (Marilyn Canto).On a dark evening en route to meet his lady love Antoine stumbles across the despondent Louis (Josť Garcia) who is trying to hang himself from a tree.

Antoine does the decent thing and rescues poor Louis from a tragic fate but Louis is anything but grateful.Lovesick and depressed, he just wants to die.

Not if Antoine has a say in it.With cheerful bonhomie he takes Louis under his wing, a generous act that segues into a ten-car pileup of misunderstandings. Antoine hooks Louis up with a job as a wine steward at the brasserie (disaster) and attempts to play cupid by tracking down the woman who broke Louisí heart (Sandrine Kiberlain as Blanche).

But cupid has other plans.Antoine and Blanche are attracted to one another which sets off a chain of emotionally comic crises.

When Apres Vous is good itís very very good; sharp, quirky and joyful.Auteuil knows his way around good comedy; master of the perfectly timed delivery. Garcia is deliciously neurotic as the spurned lover who canít get his act back on track.††

On the downside the narrative is overtly silly; too mad to be taken seriously.In true farcical style the comedy of errors borders on slapstick and the script strains to keep pace. Bottom line itís all in good fun.