Meet Louis Costa (Alain Chabat from The Science of Sleep). He’s a 40-something Parisian perfumier, happily content with his bachelor existence. Yet, the women in his family – specifically domineering mother Genevieve (Bernadette Lafont) and his five sisters – decide at one of their regular domestic meetings that it’s time for him to settle down and get married. Terrified of their matchmaking schemes, Louis comes up with an elaborate scheme: he’ll pay a colleague’s sibling Emma (Charlotte Gainsbourg) to be his bride-to-be and then get her to jilt him on the wedding day, thus ensuring the sympathy of his nearest and dearest.
Scripted by no less than five writers, including Chabat himself, and directed by Eric Lartigau (neither of whose previous films as writer and director gained British distribution), I Do is a briskly paced and efficiently entertaining mainstream romantic farce, which should appeal to fans of the recent My Best Friend or of Francois Veber’s comedies (Le Dîner de cons, The Closet). Yes it’s unsurprising that the business relationship of the two protagonists should be complicated by their growing romantic attraction to one another, and the sentimental sub-plot about furniture-restorer Emma seeking to adopt a Brazilian child could have been excised. Yet both the leads provide appealing performances, with much of I Do’s pleasure lying in the way Gainsbourg’s character convincingly charms and offends in fulfilling her required roles in Louis’ charade.
GFT, Glasgow & Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 2 Nov.