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Overall Rating
3.22

Awesome: 4.35%
Worth A Look: 30.43%
Average56.52%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 8.7%

3 reviews, 5 user ratings


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Après vous...
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by Brian McKay

"Do you ever wish you'd just left someone hanging?"
4 stars

A romantic French comedy of errors, APRES' VOUS is the tale of an impeccable Maitre d' who saves a man from hanging himself, and lives to regret it. While it boasts crisply amusing dialogue and a solid troupe of supporting characters, it's the charm of leading man Daniel Auteuil as the harried Maitre d' that makes AFTER YOU such a treat.

Antoine' (Auteuil) is the Maitre d' of a posh restaurant who excels at making the customers happy. He's polite, good natured, and attentive. . . and sometimes he just doesn't know how to say "no". This is usually a point of tension between him and his girlfriend Christine (Maryline Canto), since he is often late to meet her because he's stayed late at work to deal with problems or placate a customer.

During one such evening, as he is running through the park to meet his girlfriend well past the appointed time, he comes across a man standing on his suitcase with a noose around his neck. Despondent over the loss of his beloved girlfriend, Louis (Jose' Garcia) is determined to end it all. Ever the good Samaritan, Antoine' jumps to the rescue and cuts the man down. Upon learning that Louis has no place to go, he brings him home, helps him get cleaned up, and even helps him intercept the suicide letter he mailed to his grandparents (quite possibly the film's funniest scene). Much to the consternation of Christine, Antoine' even gets Louis a job at the restaurant, and tracks down Louis's ex girlfriend, Blanche (Sandrine Kiberlain) with the hopes of reuniting the two so that he can get Louis the hell out of his house.

But when Antoine' meets the stunning Blanche, discovering an unexpectedly strong attraction with her, things get ridiculously complicated, and ridiculously funny.

The template of a guy helping another guy try to get back his girl, only to fall for the girl himself, is certainly nothing new. But director Pierre Salvadori, along with the odd-couple pairing of Auteuil and Garcia (two of France's biggest comedic leading men), all bring such a joi d'vivre to the project that you can't help but have a little smile on your face as the closing credits roll.

The weaknesses of these three characters are exploited for laughs, but they are also explored enough to give them a depth that's missing from the usual Hollywood love-triangle rom-com formula. Antoine' is a great guy, but his saviour complex gets him in trouble while trying to spare others from it. Louis is so shattered by Blanche's leaving him, that he is an emotional mess with his heart on his sleeve (leaving a little on the sleeve of anyone he brushes up against, as well). And Blanche is the kind of woman who would rather take back a cheating boyfriend than be on her own, finding no comfort in Antoine's proverb that "No company is better than bad company".

Although the love triangle hijinks begin to get stretched thin by the third act, AFTER YOU wraps things up on a high note. And while it basically reuses all of the conventions of a typical French farce, it does so with winning aplomb.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11271&reviewer=258
originally posted: 07/05/05 05:47:21
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 City of Lights / City of Angels Film Festival. For more in the 2004 City of Lights / City of Angels Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2005 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/13/05 Ben Quinn The French can fail at film too y'know 3 stars
6/23/05 sally angwin I cannot believe how very very bad this movie is. So over bad french obvious comedies. 1 stars
6/10/05 i am god stupid movie people should all fail cuz they blow 1 stars
5/31/05 Johanna Hewlett Brown A charming, funny take on love and guilt, Daniel Auteuil is brilliant. 5 stars
4/21/05 Daniella Garcia A refreshingly different take on romantic comedies 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Jun-2005
  DVD: 08-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Dec-2004 (M)




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