Jet Lag

A breezy romantic comedy in which opposites attract against all the reasonable odds, this slight but thoroughly charming film benefits immeasurably from the assured performances of leads Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno. Chatty aesthetician Rose (Binoche) has just left her abusive husband (Sergi Lopez) of 12 years for a gig at a Mexican spa, thinking that...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A breezy romantic comedy in which opposites attract against all the reasonable odds, this slight but thoroughly charming film benefits immeasurably from the assured performances of leads Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno. Chatty aesthetician Rose (Binoche) has just left her abusive husband (Sergi Lopez) of 12 years for a gig at a Mexican spa, thinking that she'd be on a plane before he ever read her goodbye note. Haggard chef-turned-frozen-food entrepreneur Felix (Jean Reno) is en route to Munich for the funeral of his estranged ex-girlfriend's grandmother, then on to an important business meeting in the Midwest. They have nothing in common: He's a wealthy, stressed-out businessman who's made his home in America and is apparently determined to outdo his adopted countrymen on the all-work and no-play front. She's a middle-class Frenchwoman from her elaborate coiffure and make-up to her traditional notion of what constitutes a vinaigrette. She disappointed her political activist parents with her bourgeois ambitions, he left home and cut off contact with his father — also a chef — after an argument about Felix's heretical recipe for frog's legs. But they're both stranded at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and keep getting thrown together in the no-frills waiting area: Bad weather and downed computers have grounded planes and snarled reservations, and railway workers have called a general strike. When the last flight of the night is finally cancelled, first-class traveler Felix is given a complementary hotel suite, and in turn offers the bedraggled but still upbeat Rose a place to stay for the night. Do these two lost souls find love despite their differences? The obstacles screenwriter-turned-director Daniele Thompson has thrown in the path of true love are contrived and predictable, but Reno and Binoche make a charismatic mismatched couple. Forty years ago, THE V.I.P.s chronicled the soap-opera troubles of jet-setters stranded in the luxury lounge of a fog-bound airport; the modern-day setting is less swank — more like a bus station than the deluxe terminals of air travel's glory days — but the dynamic is the same. The enforced idleness of waiting impels Rose and Felix to articulate their discontents and make decisions they've avoided by rushing headlong from one everyday crisis to another. Their decisions are foregone conclusions, and no one will be disappointed by them.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A breezy romantic comedy in which opposites attract against all the reasonable odds, this slight but thoroughly charming film benefits immeasurably from the assured performances of leads Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno. Chatty aesthetician Rose (Binoche) ha… (more)

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