Romuald et Juliette (3 stars)

Romuald et Juliette

With broad hindsight it can often seem that too many French films made in the 80s centred around life swapping scenarios or sudden shifts in perspective and expectation – whether that happened to be Bertrand Blier with mischievous satires like Tenue de soiree and Trop belle pour Toi!, Etienne Chetiliez’s Life is a Long Quiet River or Coline Serreau’s Three Men and a Baby and this Daniel Auteuil outing.

Romuald (Auteuil) is the hot, white chairman of the board, determined to increase his company’s profits, Juliette (Fermine Richard) the black cleaner with five kids and five ex-husbands who helps him out when members of the company try and stab him in the back. Always good at social comment contained within broad comedy Serreau (La Crise, Chaos) frequently stretches plausibility, but the exaggerated comic scenario just about justifies it. This is as close to farce as it is to satire, and even gets away with an absurdly optimistic, nay, utopian ending. Minimal extras.

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