The best things in life are free, but all seasoned Riviera gold digger Irène (Audrey Tautou) wants is her own credit card from an ageing sugar daddy. Meanwhile, luckless, impoverished bar tender and dog walker Jean (Gad Elmaleh) is developing a bit of a crush on this cynical young lady, but without expendable cash in his pocket she is not interested. That is, until he becomes a toy boy himself.
Pierre Wild Target Salvadori’s frothy and silly screwball comedy, set in the glamorous yet mildly tragic world of upmarket hotels, restaurants and boutiques in Nice and Monte Carlo, is undeniably enjoyable. Returning to acting after announcing her retirement two years before the release of Ron Howard’s abysmal adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, Tautou shows that she is still an actress of range, nuance and great comic flair. Up and coming Moroccan/French actor Elmaleh is Buster Keaton to her Fatty Arbuckle. By turns gormless, distracted, embarrassed and just plain odd he makes a little go a long way with pleasing results. Salvadori marshals this bittersweet comedy with the ease of an old pro and Gilles Henry’s lovely glossy photography is the very essence of guilty indulgence.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh and selected release from Fri 13 Jun.