A review of ďMy Wife Is an ActressĒ by Jeanne Aufmuth


Stars: ***

Rating: R for nudity, language, adult situations. In English and French with English subtitles

Run Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes


Paris boasts a population of 2,125,246.Of these lucky souls, 1,153,000 are women, and 10,000 are actresses. The odds of an eligible man hooking up with one of these starlets are 12-1. Imagine having one of them as your wife.

Thatís the dilemma facing Yvan (Yvan Attal), an easy going sportswriter who has issues with his wife Charlotteís (Charlotte Gainsbourg) burgeoning fame.Autograph hunters butting in on intimate dinners, traffic cops who waive tickets in exchange for a smile, and impossible-to-obtain restaurant reservations magically secured with the drop of a name.Yvan is madly in love with his wife, but so is everyone else in the City of Lights.

A simply posed question skews Yvanís attitude towards Charlotteís profession.When a distant acquaintance asks him how he feels about watching his naked wife making love to another man onscreen, the first seeds of doubt are sowed.Itís strictly an act, isnít it?

Charlotteís current film project is in production in London, opposite a silken smooth and suavely British star named John (Terence Stamp).As jealousy slowly overcomes sanity, Yvan is compelled to make a surprise visit to the set for an answer to the million-dollar question.

This is snappy, frothy, screwball comedy awash in French understatement.Written and directed by Attal, and loosely based on his real-life marriage to French film star Gainsbourg, the script is realistically involving and amusingly astute. The pressure of a high-profile relationship is rife with comic potential, most of it realized.Bluesy soundtrack captures the appropriately nimble mood, but frivolous, pat climax lands with a supple thud.††