“ Genre: Comedy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Pierre Salvadori / Actors: Audrey Tautou, Nathalie Baye, Sami Bouajila, Stephanie Lagarde, Judith Chemla ... / DVD released 2011-11-07 at Trinity Filmed Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Subtitled, PAL, Surround Sound, Widescreen „
As a language student and film fan, it is inevitable that I get some foreign films on DVD for birthdays and Christmas. I do enjoy getting these films but as I usually prefer to watch films with other people rather than on my own, it often takes a while before I manage to get around to watching them. Beautiful Lies is an example of one that I got for my birthday over a month ago, but only got around to watching last night, when I watched it with my parents.
== Beautiful Lies ==
Beautiful Lies is a French comedy starring Audrey Tatou of Amelie fame. Tatou plays Émilie, a woman who owns a hairdressers in the south of France (it's not made explicit where), and whom her employee Jean (Sami Bouajila) is secretly in love with. He writes her an anonymous love letter and is crushed when she casually throws it away after reading it only inspires her with a slight smile. However, after meeting up with her mother Maddy (Nathalie Baye), who is miserable and hasn't managed to get over her husband leaving her four years previously, she reconsiders the letter. Still not knowing who it is, she copies it out verbatim and posts it as an anonymous love letter to her mother in order to cheer her up a bit. Of course, this ill thought out idea has some bad, but often funny, consequences that Émilie failed to foresee.
== What I Thought Of It ==
I thought that 'Beautiful Lies' was a good romantic comedy, but nothing significantly more. Yes, it was an enjoyable film with many hilarious moments and a consistently ridiculous yet well-constructed plot, but it didn't excel, in my view. While good quality, a lot of the middle third of the film was unbelievably difficult watching, with many cringe worthy moments that will be familiar to fans of Frasier (which made cringey comedy an art form).
=== Acting ===
The acting in this film was great, with Bouajila deserving particular praise for his role as Jean. His quiet, disguised awkwardness caused by his love for Émilie was acted brilliantly, with many emotions expressed perfectly by slight changes in his face. Tatou is also great in her role, as is Baye in playing the lonely, desperate Maddy. There were also some good performances in minor roles, with Judith Chemla deserving special mention for her role as the very nervous Paulette, who works for Émilie.
== =Story and Script ===
While this film's story wasn't entirely unique, it was different enough to make me want to watch the film. Its execution was also done well, and although there was the odd cliché, it wasn't overly heavy and there was enough of new ideas in there to make the film not feel old or as if it had been 'done before'. The story was good, though, and although it drifts into the chick-flick category, the fact that it's a French film rather than American also helps to give it a more interesting edge.
== Conclusion ==
I thought this was a good film, but it wasn't as good as I expected it to be. My boyfriend's brother had seen it and recommended it to me a while ago so I was delighted to receive it for my birthday, but it didn't quite live up to my high expectations. That said, I did enjoy it a lot and there were some hilarious lines and scenes, and will be happy to watch it again in the future. I would say that it's worth a watch if you like the sound of it from my review, but that I would wait to buy it for the time being. It currently costs around the £10 mark for a DVD, since it was just released in the UK last month, but I'm sure that the price will drop at some point in the new year. In short, a good, but not exceptional, film.