Flat Soufflé from France
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh,
Marie Christine Adam, Jacques
Spiesser, and Vernon Bobtcheff
Runtime: 104 minutes
Distributor: First Look Studios
Director: Pierre Salvadori
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Philippe Martin
Writer: Pierre Salvadori and Benoît
Address Comments To:Trevor Short, CEO, First Look Studios
Avi Lerner and Danny Dimbort
Co-Chairmen of Nu Image
2000 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 410
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: (424) 202-5000; Fax: (424) 202-5310
Website: www.firstlookstudios.com; Email: email@example.com
PRICELESS opens late at night with Irene, a ritzy, beautiful golddigger wanting to celebrate her birthday. Irene leaves her tired but rich older lover to go to the hotel bar. There, she mistakes the hangdog bartender, Jean, for a rich millionaire. Jean is alone in the bar and has fallen asleep on a couch after the last customer forced Jean to drink with him. Jean goes along with Irene’s mistaken impression, and he takes her to an empty suite, where they spend the night. The next morning, Irene returns to her much older lover, Jacques.
A year later in the same hotel, Jacques and Irene return on her birthday. Jacques has asked Irene to marry him, and she accepts. Jean shows up, however, and pretends once again that he’s a rich millionaire. Once again, Jean and Irene get together, but this time, Irene decides to leave Jacques for Jean. She gets a rude awakening in the morning, however, when she learns the truth about Jean’s position. Irene immediately walks out on Jean in the bed, where he gazes sheepishly at the hotel staff members who woke them up.
That would be the end of the matter, but Jean has fallen in love with Irene. She is the girl of his dreams. So, Jean pursues Irene to a nearby café, where she is trying to find someone to replace Jacques. Jean foils Irene’s blind date with a rich young man, so Irene takes Jean up on his interest in her, but starts spending all his money. Jean gets them a fancy hotel room, where Irene continues to spend his money. Eventually, all his accounts can’t cover the bills, so Irene leaves him again, and Jean takes up with an older rich widow looking for a gigolo.
Jean tries to rub Irene’s face with this new relationship of his, thinking to make her jealous. Irene takes it in stride, however, and starts giving Jean pointers on how to take advantage of his rich lover.
Irene finds a new, older lover, but the continued sight of Jean trying to live in her golddigging world begins to change her feelings toward him. In fact, Irene enjoys sneaking away with Jean for rendezvous after rendezvous. The question becomes, can Irene leave her golddigging ways for true romance with Jean?
PRICELESS has some funny, ironic moments, but it goes on too long and the characters hop in and out of bed more frequently than nearly any other French movie in recent memory. Now, that’s saying something! Thus, even though romance wins out over greed in the end, this French soufflé is thoroughly immoral. Of course, if Jean truly loved Irene, he would find it much more difficult to hop into bed with the older rich widow. The fact that he does this so easily makes the movie’s romantic viewpoint confusing.
PRICELESS has some funny, ironic moments, but it goes on too long and the characters hop in and out of bed more frequently than nearly any other French movie in recent memory. Now, that’s saying something! Thus, even though romance wins out over greed in the end, this French soufflé is thoroughly immoral. True love may be priceless, as this movie contends, but sex is not a game that can be treated in such a cavalier manner.