Recent French films have either proclaimed biblical values that give life meaning, or have searched for such values. This modern fairy tale looks hard, but fails to find God’s timeless values. Tycoon Romuald Blindet seems to have everything that money can buy: a beautiful wife, two handsome children and the biggest yogurt company in France. However, his world falls apart soon after he appoints a new young vice-president, Paulin, and tells him to increase the production of yogurt at their Lyons plant by 50,000 units so that they can crush the competition. His order flushes out his assistants, Mr. Cloquet and Mr. Blache, who will do anything to replace him.
Cloquet, who wanted the vice-presidency, has his friend at the Lyons plant introduce a bacteria into the yogurt which causes the consumers gastric distress. The sick customers and the adulterated food attracts the government health authorities. Mr. Blache, meanwhile, sets up Romuald’s secretary to trap Romuald in an insider trading scandal and then calls the French securities and exchange authorities who quickly come to arrest Romuald. Even his friend Paulin is having an affair with Romuald’s wife. In despair, Romuald turns to Juliette, the rotund black woman who cleans his office at night. She opens his eyes to the corporate sharks around him and figures out that his conniving associates are criminally wheeling and dealing to oust him.
Romuald hides out in Juliette’s apartment while he tries to trap those who are trying to destroy him. While he obsesses about his problems, he is oblivious to Juliette’s sacrifices. A single mother so poor she shares his bed with her five children, Juliette snoops for him, cooks for him, and even gives up her bed for him (she sleeps in the bathtub).
Up to this point, this is an interesting movie. Unfortunately, Romuald traps his foes and wins back his job too soon, even though one-third of the movie is still left. To fill the gap, the film maker introduces a new story line: that of Romuald trying to convince Juliette to marry him. No longer is the movie a suspenseful action-adventure. Now, it is a light romance in which his love triumphs over barriers of race, gender, greed, and infidelity. The disjointed plot makes the film unbelievable.
It’s clear that the film maker was trying to say Romuald needed to humble himself before he could find true love. However, even though Romuald lost a round to his opponents, he never repents of his selfishness, nor does he forsake being the wealthy yuppie who can expend enough money to buy himself whatever he wants, including a new wife — a black wife who enjoys being a maid at that (though she does try unconvincingly to refute this proposition). Therefore, the film maker’s point goes astray. The missing ingredient, of course, is Jesus Christ. If Romuald had come to Christ and turned his life around, there would be more hope for this mixed marriage. Better yet, there would have been hope for his first marriage. As it is, this second marriage seems more racist than loving.
Obscenity, shadow nudity, adultery, and illicit sex