READ MY LIPS Add To My Top 10

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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 05, 2002

Starring: Emmanuelle Devos, Vincent Cassel, Olivier Gourmet, and Olivier Perrier

Genre: Thriller

Audience: Teenagers and adults REVIEWER:
Dr. Tom Snyder READ MY LIPS is
a slow-moving French thriller
that explores the connections
between society, compulsion
and crime. As such, it is not
altogether satisfying, despite
some excellent character
depictions and
performances. The movie's
opening sequence introduces us
to a harried young secretary
at a real estate firm, Carla,
who is partially deaf and uses
a hearing aid. Carla sits at
her desk handling lots of
phone calls. She goes to the
lunchroom in the building and
looks longingly at a couple
holding hands while the
salesmen at her office ignore
her. Going back to her desk,
she finds someone has spilled
coffee all over her papers.
Her boss summons her into his
office, but she faints before
she gets there. When her boss
asks her if she needs an
assistant, she assumes that
she might be fired. Carla goes
to an employment office and
tries to turn the quest for an
assistant into a quest for a
man to love her. The first man
who shows up turns out to be a
scruffy ex-con, Paul, who
knows nothing about working in
an office. She hires him
anyway and teaches him the
ropes. In one scene, he thinks
all she wants is sex, but she
rebukes his crude
advances. Weeks go by. Carla
and Paul grow closer at the
office. They seem to work well
together. Paul learns that
Carla can read lips. Her
ability helps her to know the
bad things that the salesmen
say behind her back. One day,
one of the more nasty salesman
cheats Carla out of a
commission on a project she's
been handling, so she forces
Paul to steal a file from him
to help her take the project
back. Shortly after that
incident, Carla sees a thug
beat up Paul in the company
restroom. The owner of an
underworld nightclub has
bought the big loan that Paul
got three years ago from a
loan shark and now wants his
money. The owner forces Paul
to work as a bartender to pay
off the debt, which means that
Paul must leave Carla's
company. These events
devastate the lonely Carla,
who still has not taken
advantage of her relationship
with Paul to fulfill her
romantic longings. Paul,
however, comes to her with a
scheme to rip off his boss.
Carla agrees, but only if Paul
returns to her company. They
work out an arrangement where
Paul can work shorter hours at
Carla's company and still work
off his loan at the nightclub.
Carla starts to spy on Paul's
boss, who is setting up a bank
robbery. From a nearby
rooftop, Carla reads lips
during the meetings for the
robbery. Meanwhile, Paul
surreptitiously makes a key of
the apartment above the club
where the meetings are held.
Paul and Carla's plan to steal
the robbery money leads to
dangerous complications. As
the tagline to this movie
proclaims, Carla teaches Paul
good manners, and Paul teaches
Carla bad ones. Both seem to
get a unique thrill from
helping each other in the
other's world. At one point,
Paul has to rescue Carla from
a would-be rapist in the
nightclub parking lot after
Carla spends evenings there
before she spies on his boss
from the rooftop. At another
point, Carla has to rescue
Paul from the restaurant owner
and his gang of bank robbers.
Though these plot twists offer
some thrills, the movie takes
such a long time to get to the
chase that many viewers might
tune out in the middle.
Emmanuelle Devos and Vincent
Cassel give excellent
performances, however, as
Carla and Paul. In fact, Devos
earned the French equivalent
of the Oscar for her
efforts. Ultimately, READ MY
LIPS suggests that the society
around them is to blame for
Carla and Paul's isolation and
criminal, unethical behavior.
The ending strongly suggests
that Paul and Carla will get
away with their victories over
the corporate structures that
engulf them and finally
consummate their growing love.
Thus, once again, the
individual overcomes the
social forces that imprison
him, through romantic love and
personal guile. READ MY LIPS
also contains plenty of strong
foul language. Please address
your comments to: Magnolia
Pictures 115 West 27th Street,
8th Floor New York, NY
10001 Email:
info@magpictures.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 115 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(RoRo, LLL, VV, S, N, A, D, MM) Romantic worldview where romantic love and personal guile help the individual overcome stifling social forces; 42 mostly strong obscenities and one strong profanity; medium violence such as thug from loan shark beats up man, attempted rape is foiled, thugs beat up man trying to extort money from real estate firm, irate salesman has to be pulled off woman who won victory over him in a game of office politics, thugs beat up man to get confession from him about stolen money, gunshots heard off-screen after sounds of fighting and dead bodies shown from afar, thug takes knife to kill thug in another room, and lonely man puts plastic bag over his head and screams; attempted rape foiled, talk of adultery and sex, man paws woman but she rejects his crude advances, and unmarried couple starts to make love in movie's last shots; upper male nudity, shots of woman in bra, shots of woman's belly, and woman looks at her nude figure in foggy mirror but no private parts shown; alcohol use; smoking; and, much lying, stealing, real estate extortion, office politics, protagonists plan to steak crooks' money, and loan shark threatens man.

GENRE: Thriller

RoRo

LLL

VV

S

N

A

D

MM

Summary:

READ MY LIPS is a slow-moving French thriller about a deaf secretary who gets involved with a scruffy ex-con having trouble going legit because of a hefty loan from a loan shark. Although it contains some thrills and excellent performances, READ MY LIPS sags in the middle and combines strong foul language with an objectionable Romantic worldview.

Review:

READ MY LIPS is a slow-moving French thriller that explores the connections between society, compulsion and crime. As such, it is not altogether satisfying, despite some excellent character depictions and performances.

The movie's opening sequence introduces us to a harried young secretary at a real estate firm, Carla, who is partially deaf and uses a hearing aid. Carla sits at her desk handling lots of phone calls. She goes to the lunchroom in the building and looks longingly at a couple holding hands while the salesmen at her office ignore her. Going back to her desk, she finds someone has spilled coffee all over her papers. Her boss summons her into his office, but she faints before she gets there. When her boss asks her if she needs an assistant, she assumes that she might be fired.

Carla goes to an employment office and tries to turn the quest for an assistant into a quest for a man to love her. The first man who shows up turns out to be a scruffy ex-con, Paul, who knows nothing about working in an office. She hires him anyway and teaches him the ropes. In one scene, he thinks all she wants is sex, but she rebukes his crude advances.

Weeks go by. Carla and Paul grow closer at the office. They seem to work well together. Paul learns that Carla can read lips. Her ability helps her to know the bad things that the salesmen say behind her back.

One day, one of the more nasty salesman cheats Carla out of a commission on a project she's been handling, so she forces Paul to steal a file from him to help her take the project back. Shortly after that incident, Carla sees a thug beat up Paul in the company restroom. The owner of an underworld nightclub has bought the big loan that Paul got three years ago from a loan shark and now wants his money. The owner forces Paul to work as a bartender to pay off the debt, which means that Paul must leave Carla's company.

These events devastate the lonely Carla, who still has not taken advantage of her relationship with Paul to fulfill her romantic longings. Paul, however, comes to her with a scheme to rip off his boss. Carla agrees, but only if Paul returns to her company. They work out an arrangement where Paul can work shorter hours at Carla's company and still work off his loan at the nightclub. Carla starts to spy on Paul's boss, who is setting up a bank robbery. From a nearby rooftop, Carla reads lips during the meetings for the robbery. Meanwhile, Paul surreptitiously makes a key of the apartment above the club where the meetings are held. Paul and Carla's plan to steal the robbery money leads to dangerous complications.

As the tagline to this movie proclaims, Carla teaches Paul good manners, and Paul teaches Carla bad ones. Both seem to get a unique thrill from helping each other in the other's world. At one point, Paul has to rescue Carla from a would-be rapist in the nightclub parking lot after Carla spends evenings there before she spies on his boss from the rooftop. At another point, Carla has to rescue Paul from the restaurant owner and his gang of bank robbers. Though these plot twists offer some thrills, the movie takes such a long time to get to the chase that many viewers might tune out in the middle. Emmanuelle Devos and Vincent Cassel give excellent performances, however, as Carla and Paul. In fact, Devos earned the French equivalent of the Oscar for her efforts.

Ultimately, READ MY LIPS suggests that the society around them is to blame for Carla and Paul's isolation and criminal, unethical behavior. The ending strongly suggests that Paul and Carla will get away with their victories over the corporate structures that engulf them and finally consummate their growing love. Thus, once again, the individual overcomes the social forces that imprison him, through romantic love and personal guile.

READ MY LIPS also contains plenty of strong foul language.

Please address your comments to:

Magnolia Pictures

115 West 27th Street, 8th Floor

New York, NY 10001

Email: info@magpictures.com

In Brief: