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Romantics Anonymous (2 stars)

Surprise hit at French box-office far more saccharine than bittersweet

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Romantics Anonymous

(12A) 78mins

‘I don’t have a problem with women,’ confides chocolate factory owner Jean-René (Belgian actor and comedian Benoît Poelvoorde) to his psychoanalyst (Stéphan Wojtowicz). ‘They just terrify me, that’s all.’ In clinical terms le patron is suffering from pathological shyness – the French title Les Anonymes Emotifs more accurately translates as ‘hyper-sensitives anonymous’ – which makes forming intimate romantic relationships a formidable challenge. Enter the beautiful yet single Angelique (Isabelle Carré), who’s so nervous that she won’t even take credit for her own chocolate-making accomplishments. How will this socially anxious duo be able to reveal their true feelings for one another?

Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Améris, Romantics Anonymous has been a surprise hit at the French box-office. Given Carré’s and Poelvoorde’s respective renditions of I Have Confidence and Les Yeux Noirs, you hope that this might turn into a Jacques Demy-style musical, yet the gently stylized film follows a predictable romcom path. Despite the likeable performances from the two leads and some amusing moments in both group and individual therapy sessions, the briskly paced Romantics Anonymous is far more saccharine than bittersweet in its sensibility.

Selected release from Fri 2 Dec.

Romantics Anonymous Trailer

Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs anonymes)

  • 2 stars
  • 2010
  • France/Belgium
  • 80 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Jean-Pierre Améris
  • Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carré, Lorella Cravotta

Jean-René (Poelvoorde) is a pathologically shy chocolate factory owner, while Angelique (Carré) is a pathologically anxious chocolatiere; how will they even start a conversation, let alone reveal their feelings to each other? Despite likeable performances and some amusing moments, this is far more saccharine than…

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