Six Of The Best: French Rom Coms

It’s long been known that, when it comes to romantic comedy, France has some of the best films cinema has to offer. From quirky sun-soaked romances to crowd-pleasing Academy Award-winning hits, filmmakers across the pond have for decades known how to speak the language of love like no others. The latest rom-com to come out of France is Up For Love, which stars Jean Dujardin and Virginie Efira and hits UK cinemas Friday August 5. As humorous as it is unconventional, the film combines excellent performances with a story whose moral messages have universal appeal. So,we’ve lovingly gone back through the recent decades to list six of the very best romantic comedies France has to offer.

Love Is in the Air
Love-Is-In-the-AirFrom writer-director Alexandre Castagnetti, this modern rom-com pits Ludivine Sagnier against Populaire star Nicolas Bedos, making for a match made thousands of miles in the air. Bedos plays Antoine, a New York-based lawyer who, whilst on a flight to France ahead of a job interview, finds himself sitting next to his ex-girlfriend Julie (Sagnier). The pair’s previously messy break-up ensures that this seven-hour flight proves to be quite eventful…

Populaire
populaireThe directorial debut from Régis Roinsard, this screwball period rom-com, set in late 1950a France, sees Déborah François playing Rose, a secretary at an insurance agency who is terrible at her job but an incredibly fast typewriter. When her talents are noticed by her handsome boss, Louis (Romain Duris), he takes it upon himself to train and transform her into the fastest typist in the world. He makes a bet with his friend that Rose can win the regional championship, but will their budding feelings for one another scupper her chance at success?

The Artist
the artist Michel Hazanavicius’ modern hit sits firmly in the category for being one of the best films of all time. The Artist scooped up all the major awards, and won five Oscars including best film, director and actor for Jean Dujardin, the first French star to do so. The story takes place in 1920’s Hollywood, focusing on the relationship of an older silent film star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and rising young actress Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). As the era of silent cinema takes its bow, Valentin fears of being replaced by the ‘talkies’. The film’s beautiful cinematography coupled with the shining performances by Dujardin and Bejo make it an instant stand-out classic.

Beautiful Lies
beautiful-liesA staple of French cinema, Audrey Tautou stars in Pierre Salvadori’s playful film about Émilie (played by Tautou), the co-owner of a hair salon who receives an anonymous love letter from her handyman Jean (Sami Bouajila) who, unbeknownst to her, is actually a highly educated man. Thinking it will rouse her from a deep depression, Émilie forwards this letter to her mother (Nathalie Baye), and she is immediately smitten, though complications arrive when her daughter becomes the middleman in the pair’s burgeoning romance.

Amélie
amelieThe BAFTA-award winning Amelie was an instant hit, and became one of the most well known French films of this decade. It stars Audrey Tautou as Amélie Poulain, a shy waitress struggling with isolation, who finds bliss by devoting her life to the people around her. She resorts her own life to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty. But in doing so, Amélie begins to leave behind her own life and her own quest for love. This French classic is a feel-good charmer that showcases Tautou as a delightful heroine, and introduced her to a wider international audience.

Up For Love 
up-for-love-1Diane (Virginie Efira) is brilliant, beautiful, witty and a formidable lawyer. She’s just put an end to a toxic, unhappy marriage and is finally considering the idea of meeting someone new. A series of fateful events lead Diane to receive a phone call from the mysterious Alexandre (Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin), who has found her lost mobile phone. Courteous, funny, and effortlessly charming, he soon wins Diane over… and before she knows it, she’s agreed to a date. But their first meeting is not quite what either of them expected… This charming, quirky and feel-good comedy puts a spin on the classic love story elements, with standout performances from Dujardin and Efira.

John McArthur
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