An Amazing Couple

The second installment in Lucas Belvaux's audacious trilogy, which tells the story of one group of French acquaintances in Grenoble through three different genres, couldn't be any more dissimilar from the first. Where ON THE RUN was a tense thriller, its follow-up is an effervescent romantic farce. After her husband, Alain (Francois Morel), is three hours...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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The second installment in Lucas Belvaux's audacious trilogy, which tells the story of one group of French acquaintances in Grenoble through three different genres, couldn't be any more dissimilar from the first. Where ON THE RUN was a tense thriller, its follow-up is an effervescent romantic farce. After her husband, Alain (Francois Morel), is three hours late to his own birthday party, Cecile (Ornella Muti) — the azure-eyed Italian beauty who offers Bruno the use of her mountain chalet in ON THE RUN — begins to suspect that Alain's been sneaking around behind her back. She's right, but it's not at all what she thinks. Alain's been diagnosed with something that requires a minor bit of surgery, but in order to not worry Cecile, he conspires with his doctor, Georges (Bernard Mazzinghi), to keep the upcoming procedure a secret. But if anyone needs reassurance, it's Alain: He's convinced that Georges is downplaying the seriousness of his condition — Alain thinks that he might have cancer and Alzheimer's — and Alain spent those three missing hours driving around in hypochondriacal despair, repeatedly revising his last will and testament on his tape recorder. When he finally returns home for his big surprise, Cecile knows that he wasn't at the office like he says; Alain's assistant, Claire (Valerie Mairesse), who was in on the party plans, phoned Cecile the moment he left. In order to find out what Alain's up to, Cecile hires Pascal (Gilbert Melki) — the none-too-scrupulous police officer who's gunning for Bruno in the first film — to follow him. Cecile's suspicious behavior only makes Alain more paranoid, and he begins to suspect that not only is she having an affair, but there's a plot afoot to do him in — a vast conspiracy that involves everyone from Georges to Alain's own son and daughter. Lacking the thematic depth of ON THE RUN, this brisk, bubbly jape never really transcends the genre it's emulating, and your enjoyment of the film really depends on your tolerance for bumbling misunderstandings and improbable coincidences. It's all soufflé-light and very well-played, but the film might have been a little more interesting had Belvaux explored some of the shadows that fall across the bright surface — like Cecile's troubled relationship with her daughter, or Alain's character, which verges on the paranoid schizophrenic. Next up in the trilogy: AFTER THE LIFE, a melodrama that focuses on Pascal and his drug-addicted wife, Agnes (Dominique Blanc). (In French, with English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The second installment in Lucas Belvaux's audacious trilogy, which tells the story of one group of French acquaintances in Grenoble through three different genres, couldn't be any more dissimilar from the first. Where ON THE RUN was a tense thriller, its f… (more)

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