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4.3 out of 5 stars
Priceless [Blu-ray]
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
"Priceless" (Hors de prix) is a romantic comedy of a sort only the French would make. Jean Simon (Gad Elmaleh) is a bartender at a posh hotel on the French Riviera so conditioned to fulfill the guests' every wish that he can't say "no". Irene Mercier (Audrey Tautou) is an attractive young woman kept by a wealthy older man whom she hopes to marry to secure a life of luxury. When Irene's companion Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff) falls asleep and spoils her plans for the evening, Irene dejectedly saunters to the hotel bar, where she mistakes Jean for a rich guest. Jean sheepishly accommodates her mistake, and they have a drunken fling. When she returns to the hotel a year later, engaged to Jacques, their mutual attraction threatens her marriage plans, Jean's job, and everyone's equilibrium.

This is a genuinely charming and funny film, but I had to laugh at its effrontery as well as it script. "Priceless" adopts a jaunty, optimistic tone at the point when Jean and Irene begin prostituting themselves to rich patrons. This film would not be made in the Untied States. It accepts the casual exchange of sex for money as an amusing and self-evident aspect of life, and sexual jealousy simply does not exist. Irene couldn't be more charming than when she attempts to educate a smitten Jean on the arts of gold-digging and seduction. Irene and Jean's meal tickets, the wealthy bon vivants that keep them in designer fashions, are interesting and smart people themselves, which helps elevate the film.

And there is always something interesting going on the background. I enjoyed director Pierre Salvadori's peeks behind the scenes at how luxury hotels function. I was impressed by his respect for the support staffs that keep the hotels running, and it enhanced the feeling of grandeur that Irene single-mindedly seeks. "Priceless" was obviously inspired by "Breakfast at Tiffany's", a film that I don't care for. It is not as coy about the lady's profession, however. And Jean and Irene are much more appealing and good-humored leads. "Priceless" is a very good-looking film, a scandalous tale that wisely gives no hint of scandal, with a smart, funny script. There are no bonus features on the First Look 2008 DVD. Subtitles are available in English SDH and Spanish.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2009
This gem sparkles like diamonds on display in Tiffany's. Audrey Tautou shows her physical beauty and amazing acting range, pulling off a seemingly impossible character arc from selling her self to the highest bidder to finding true love. Twists along the way let us see the world from all points of view, a rare thing in storytelling. Having it all feel seamless and natural is an amazing tour de force by actors, writers, film crew and the director. "Priceless" is one of the very few romantic comedies that can be watched again without losing an ounce of its punch. And whoever did the costumes for Ms. Tautou deserves an Academy Award.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 3, 2008
Like Nicholas Stoller's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Pierre Salvadori's "Priceless" could be considered distinctly unsavory if the story weren't so funny and the actors so charming. Both films share a basic theme--sexual hanky-panky in luxurious resort hotels--but whereas "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" concentrates on the sex itself, making it thoroughly American, "Priceless" is very French in concentrating on the dollars-and-cents (or euros-and-cents) calculations of love for a price. "Priceless" redeems itself by having true love triumph over money in the end (and you knew it would going into this movie; this is "Priceless," not "Darling.") Audrey Tautou is alluringly hard-edged as a shameless golddigger who, through a series of mixups, ends up sleeping with a shy barman (Gad Elmaleh) she mistakes for a tycoon. The mixup costs Tautou her current sugar daddy, with nothing and no one to fall back on. When Elmaleh presses his suit, Tautou exacts an expensive revenge which leads to all sorts of repercussions and complications, all set against the opulent backdrops of Biarritz and Monte Carlo captured glowingly by cinematographer Gilles Henry. Tautou is funny and touching as a mercenary woman who gradually melts under the spell of true love, and Elmaleh is a perfect example of the lovable deadpan comedians France excels at producing. The various rich folk whom Tautou and Elmaleh, ahem, bump up against--played to perfection by Marie-Christine Adam, Vernon Dobtcheff, and Jacques Spiesser--become more loathsome with each second of screen time, making the ultimate triumph of love over money all the sweeter. "Priceless" is a prime, and unexpectedly pointed, example of French bedroom farce.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
Hors de Prix (Priceless) stars audrey tatou ("amelie," l'auberge espagnole," "dirty pretty things")as a woman who exists and subsists on the kindness of rich old men but only for a short time: before she gets bored, before he dies, before she realizes that there is another bigger score afoot. tatou plays irene (she is painfully thin in a play i think to replicate the mesmerizing, luminous audrey hepburn of "breakfast at tiffany's") and to add some friction to the mix, director pierre salvadori manipulates a meeting between irene and jean ( gad elmaleh) a poor guy who irene mistakes for her next victim but who meets a rich woman who absurdly wants jean to be her paid escort. Irene takes on the job of transforming jean into a proper french gigolo.
what is refreshing about this film is that director salvadori and his writer are not conflcted in the least about irene and what she does: there is no judgement about these kinds of things in french films. irene's actions are deliberate and goal oriented. irene is a prostitue (a high class one, yes but a prostitute nonetheless), a gold digger, a woman who lives off the kindness of old men who crave her company and her affection.
gold digging as an elevated, something to be strived for activity/way of life: the interplay between jean and irene is witty, fun and thoughtful as irene teaches jean the ropes.
"Priceless" is a frothy bit of film making, made even lighter by Audray Tatou's ethereal Irene and gad elmalah's sad sack Jean.the idea that we americans are going to re-make this film sends shudders up my spine. quelle dommage!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2011
Languages always lose something in translation. I'm not a French scholar but as I understand the original title of the film, "Hors de Prix," the meaning intended is that the subject (l'amour) is something beyond price. It is a much stronger term than "priceless" and I don't believe English has an exact translation. "Hors" means it is in a completely different realm from price, whereas "priceless" in English can be interpreted as being merely very expensive, such as a fine work of art.

This crucial difference is exemplified in one of the final lines of the film. When Irène is asked what she plans to do in the coming days, she suddenly abandons her life-long quest for wealth and financial security. In an moving epiphany that can be read on her face, Irène replies softly but directly with a single word: L'amour.

L'amour: yes, priceless.

But l'amour is something more, something completely outside the realm of price.

Leave it to the French to understand that l'amour is hors de prix.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
In his 2006 film "Priceless," Pierre Salvadori delivers the utterly charming gamine Audrey Tautou ( "Amelie") adorned beautifully in luxurious designer duds against a spectacular backdrop of the uber playgrounds of the rich and richer in a supposedly light romantic comedy that should be as fun and frivolous as "The Valet (La Doublure)" but quite sadly just doesn't live up to its promise or premise.

Irene (Tautou) is the type of woman about whom all mothers warn their sons--even those sons who have passed the half-century mark. A pert and pretty 30-something year old, she preys upon men whose accumulated wealth and disposable income she more than happily helps convert into the finest jewelry, clothing and accessories to add to her collection all of which insure her an exclusive membership amongst the glitterati of Biarritz and Nice.

In the tradition of true romantic comedy, she doesn't reckon on Jean, (Gad Elmaleh) a befuddled and beleaguered pushover on the hotel wait staff whom she mistakes for one of the resort's millionaire playboys. But unlike most formula romcoms, "Priceless" abandons the poorboy-masquerading-as-richboy charade early on; our savvy French Holly GoLightly expresses her displeasure of Jean's pauper status and attempts to teach him the lesson of aspiring for something beyond his means. After Irene milks whatever paltry sum his bank accounts contain with the shameless abandon of any street hustler, the hapless Jean somehow incongruously finds himself a wealthy patron of his own and accepts his new role of gigolo and Irene's bemused how-to tutelage with the dogged eagerness to keep her in his life and a Gallic shrug of his shoulders. Suddenly the two are rivaling each other in the pursuit of accumulating bling while simultaneously attempting to avoid falling into each other's arms with <duh> little success.

Bottom Line? With such a fun and frothy adult premise, "Priceless" should have worked with the timing of Moliere and an undeniable chemistry binding the two leads. Instead, all that spectacular scenery is wasted in a flatland of blah predictability that doesn't even allow its audience to revel in anticipating what comes next. Tautou and Elmaleh don't really seem to click; rather they merely go through the motions of appearing as if they are crazy for one another without much credibility. The outcome glazes the audience over with a ho-hum superficially rather than scintillating with any real sparkle. Even the end revelation that love beats out greed suspends belief.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
"reneofc"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2008
Just saw this in the theater (on a short 2 week run) and I guess it's been a year or two since it's original release outside the U.S--but don't ask me why it took so long to get here. This is another take on the "Pretty Woman" story but with much more sophistication and class than Hollywood producers could ever achieve. It's cute, funny, sexy, and charming all at once and I hate to think anyone would try to ruin it with an American version. I can't wait to find a DVD release date for the U.S.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
Reason enough for watching this film is gazing at the beauty of Audrey Tautou for 2 hours. I watched it twice within 24 hours before my online rental expired. I think she does a great job some of my favorite moments from her: when she first meets Jean and is perturbed about the missing barman, that face of frustration for a drink was classic, when she is waiting for her rich old lover to go to sleep and he won't, the expressions she makes are incredibly dead on, and the scene where she is locked out of her room and is sitting by the pool shivering. The scene where Jean shows off his new watch is also a great one. I think my favorite thing about this film is how good the moments are when their is no dialogue. That is what sets it apart. Jean gives Irene a euro for 10 seconds of her time. With that 10 seconds he gazes upon her beauty in wonder - loved it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This film is utterly entertaining. Brilliant performances from the leads, with slight facial expressions and body language being enough to throw you into peals of laughter.

The story is well-written, the actors masterfully directed, the comedy thick and fast and the romance spot-on.

Excellent film!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2008
I saw this in the movie theater today & absolutely loved it! I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can add it to my collection. It's such a cute, romantic comedy! Both lead actors were amazing...I would highly recommend this movie!
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