26 Nov

Title: L’Arnacoeur
Pascal Chaumeil
Laurent Zeitoun, Jeremy Doner, Yohan Gromb
Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier, Andrew Lincoln, Helena Noguerra
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
105 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
Rotten Tomatoes:


I thought L’Arnacoeur, or Heartbreaker as it’s being named in english-speaking territories, was actually a very fun little film. The plot is very fun and everything looks great considering it takes place in Monaco which is a gorgeous place to set a film in. The film centers on a group of people, a man, his sister and her husband, who have a business designed to break up couples, but only if they first deem the woman is actually unhappy in the relationship. They are then hired by a very wealthy man to break off his daughter’s engagement. There’s a catch though, the daughter is set to marry in less than two weeks, which gives them little time to do their work, and, more importantly, she seems to be seriously in love with the man she’s set to marry, which goes against the set of moral rules the company has.

However, Alex, the leader of the break-up business, is in debt and decides to take the job anyway, and starts doing research on the woman to learn the things she likes in order to try and impress her by liking them too, and this leads to more than a few funny situations. This all leads me to say how much I love french films, and how much I loved L’Arnacoeur , much more than I initially thought I would in fact. This is what commercial big-studio romantic comedies should all be, and of course it took the French to figure out how to do it well, Hollywood should take notice.

The stars are seriously appealing. Romain Duris, the male lead, is perfect as Alex, making him absolutely charming and believable. And then there’s Vanessa Paradis, known to most surely as being the woman who shares a home and kids with Johnny Depp, but also known to many of us as a really cool singer and actress who’s also really gorgeous. In this one Ms. Paradis looks beautiful as always, and shows a really cool chemistry with Mr. Duris as Juliette, the woman Alex has to get to break up with her perfect boyfriend.

This is just one fun film, that was really well done by everyone involved. When it starts with a nice little sequence to show how Alex and his team worked to break couples off it sets a nice mood to the film, and we are inclined to like them for their set of rules, “We only break couples. We never break hearts.” Alex says, and what ensues in the relationship he creates with Juliette is awesome. It’s awesome because Ms. Paradis plays Juliette like a really confident woman, one who can take care of herself and won’t fall that easily for Alex’s tricks and will make him try real hard. I just found this film to be all kinds of charming, all kinds of funny, and it stars two very likable stars who have terrific chemistry, not to mention the added bonus of it being in French. This is what romantic comedies should be like, two fresh leads with chemistry, a light and fun plot that’s planned to perfection and the rest is magic. There will doubtless be an American remake, and one can only hope the magic will be there too, though that may be hoping for a bit too much.

Grade: B+


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