Published Jun 07, 2007Luc Besson is back in business, and hes just as cloying as ever. Bessons new film is a combination of Its a Wonderful Life and Wings of Desire that isnt nearly as good as either.
Jamel Debbouze stars as Andre, an Arab-American expatriate in Paris whos welshed on a few bets and defaulted on a few loan sharks. In need of cash and lacking options, he contemplates jumping into the Seine when he spies beautiful Angela (Rie Rasmussen) plunge into the drink and decides to save her. She in turn decides to save him by engaging in what looks like hanky-panky to get him out of his debts, and she has a divine secret that shes loathe to tell him. Much of this is standard lovey-dovey gush about believing in yourself with a bit of heavenly fantasy fiction thrown in for good measure, and if youre not in the mood for such pie in the sky bull youll be in for a rough ride.
Still, the movie doesnt cause the intense groaning that The Fifth Element induced thanks to its smaller scale and more intimate character relations, as well as Theirry Arbogasts lovely black and white cinematography of Pariss more attractive environs. The film has been linked to Amélie for both its sunny romantic outlook and total erasure of nonwhites in the City of Light, and its sure to cause a few street fights between entertainment-craving audiences and sophisticates in search of something more.
For my money, its not exactly a fully formed movie but its at least less ludicrous than the directors past output and boasts some pretty pictures to look at. If thats all you want, thats all youll get. (Mongrel Media)