Tuesday, June 3, 2008
SIFF 2008 Favorite: Shall We Kiss?
Only the French could craft a thoroughly hilarious romantic comedy about,AePcheating. Director and writer Emmanuel Mouret walks us through a comedic story within a story about the complications of attraction, lust & love, and relationships in general.
A man and a woman meet by chance on the streets of Nantes and spend the evening talking, laughing and getting along famously. At the end of the night, the woman declines the man's offer of "a kiss without consequences" - leading into a longer story explaining why it's never possible to indulge your desires without affecting someone else.
Judith and Nicolas are the best of friends, and completely platonic. She enjoys her settled, married life and her job - he struggles to find the perfect girl, but manages to be happy anyway,AePuntil he suggests he might be lacking intimacy, and proposes that they might work out this problem together. Cue some of the most honest, heart-breaking and funny scenes I've ever seen about two people trying as hard as they can to not admit they might in love. I felt that both stories were perfectly written and casted - I loved the story of the strangers as much as I loved the main focus about Judith and Nicholas.
I highly recommend, and will definitely be buying this when it's released on DVD. As an additional note - there are two other things that I really loved about this film:
1) Most American films in this genre tend to make the current spouses or partners of the characters falling in love either totally unlikeable, or so completely wrong for the person that you don't care when the infidelity occurs (i.e. You've Got Mail). This film refused to do that, and even made the two outside characters lovable and sympathetic.
2) Hollywood has a tendency to sell us on "perfect beauty". In this film, all the women looked completely real. No layers of makeup to project a flawless face, no constant hair-styling to make us believe that even a romp in bed wouldn't disrupt our tresses, and yet the women still looked completely gorgeous. It was pretty inspiring (We can look like REAL people and still be beautiful?? Who knew?).
Shall We Kiss has already screened twice at the 2008 Seattle International Film Festival - but keep an eye out for it - I'm sure it will be picked up and released soon.