Top critical review
Funny and sweet, but not finished
on October 11, 2015
This movie starts very well. The premise is interesting and there are a couple big laughs early. (The first dinner scene is a Steve Martinesque screech, beautifully played by both leads.) But those big laughs led me to expect more and bigger laughs later, and the bigger laughs never came. Instead the movie becomes more sweet than funny.
The characters could have been made more complex, which I would have liked. The idea of two people with extreme shyness provides a lot of opportunity to show the characters growing and for the film to say something thoughtful about shyness or opening oneself up to people - the way much better films like "Amelie" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" did. This movie didn't really try to say anything. Instead the characters end up together because of some happy accidents (and despite some unhappy accidents) and they don't really grow up that much.
Also, a couple interwoven subplots of the movie (the issue of whether the company goes bankrupt or succeeds, and the issue of whether the Angelique can continue to make the chocolates now that people know who she is) are not really tied up very tight. We're left to assume that everything will turn out all right. This movie is short (about 72 minutes) so I infer that some of these plot resolutions were left on the cutting room floor for some reason or other. Maybe they didn't work out in shooting. But the film feels incomplete without them.
Meanwhile, there is at least one scene in the movie that served no purpose whatsoever: the scene with Angelique's mother. It doesn't move the plot forward at all and it tells us nothing new about Angelique - and we never see the mother in the film again. So why is it in there?
Still, I liked this movie and rooted for the couple. This is a credit to the actors, who pull off the professionally-competent-but-socially-incompetent thing beautifully. Benoit Poelvoorde is really funny, and Isabelle Carre is both funny and heart-meltingly cute. The scenes where she gets worked up talking about chocolate (and forgets all her insecurities) were the best scenes in the movie. I wish the whole movie had been as strong as those scenes.
Some good moments and performances in this movie make it worth a rental. But it's probably not worth a purchase.