Top critical review
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a real charmer
on May 16, 2004
***1/2 "Jet Lag" is a French romantic comedy that takes place almost entirely in an airport terminal and an airport hotel. Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno are two strangers who meet at the Paris airport and end up sharing a room when all flights are cancelled due to an air traffic controllers strike (think of how this affair would have been thwarted had Reagan been France's president at the time!). Rose and Felix are both riddled with insecurities and anxieties, having been largely unlucky in the ways of love. Yet, after some predictable initial tension between them, they somehow manage to find a mutual strength - and attraction - in their combined weaknesses.
"Jet Lag" is so simple and unassuming in its early stages that we are amazed to discover, about a third of the way through, just how completely it has managed to sneak up on us and win us over. Unlike most American romantic comedies, "Jet Lag" allows its characters to actually talk and get to know one another. It sure doesn't hurt, of course, that Binoche and Reno are such talented, attractive performers who establish an astonishing rapport in their scenes together. Sure, the plotting isn't exactly believable, but when is that ever the case in a film of this type anyway? The thing that matters is that we like the people we have become involved with and that we can accept, if only for just a moment, the possibility that they might be able to find happiness together. That is certainly the case in this film. (If there is a criticism to be leveled against the film, it is that it is simply too short, clocking in at barely over 80 minutes. How many films can one say THAT about?).
"Jet Lag" could have been a completely insubstantial little film; instead, it resonates with a joyfulness and charm that truly captivate the viewer. This is a winner well worth checking out.