After the Jimmy Choo-fest of Sex and the City, this week we have a load of Manolo Blahniks from France, in Priceless.
You will remember Audrey Tautou, from Amèlie. She was sweet, unaffected with a gorgeousness that made the fairy-tale story sing. In her latest, to her credit perhaps, she is playing way against type.
We find her on the Cote D’azur, clad from the head to foot in unspeakably chic designer dresses, jewellery etc. This get up emphasises two things. One: the actress has acquired what can only be described as a ‘Hollywood figure’ — still attractive but somewhat in need a large roast chicken or two. Two: her character, Irène is a gold digger. Every cent she’s carrying or wearing is paid for by a Gentleman is his mid-to-late 60’s with a pointy beard, resembling a Gallic, Patrick Stewart.
Before you can say ‘sugar Daddy’ we discover she works the scene, using her charms to extract expensive watches and engagement rings, until divorce or death extricate her from these oh so willing male victims. Nice. One evening, a hotel porter, Jean (Gad Elmaleh — a well known comedy actor in France) finds himself serving Irène cocktails, and in a case of mistaken identity, he makes her believe he is filthy rich, whilst at the same time he falls for her, oblivious to her antics.
What follows is a like a bed-hopping version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels without the jokes, or one scintilla of sexiness. At least the feckless Jean (charmingly played it must be said) eventually gives as good as he receives, turning himself into a kind of male gigolo, matching the shallow Irène, Rolex by Rolex. The locations are lovely, the outfits haute couture. The problem is the characters are so unappealing, especially her, that you yearn for a jacuzzi drowning sequence, rather than hankering for romance.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to see Jean get it together with Irène, he should go off and find himself a nice girl.