I really like contemporary French comedies. They have developed a genre that works over and over and provides insight into the human condition as well as laughs. In the genre, the characters are almost always sophisticated Parisians living in fab apartments with no children or money worries, a la Hollywood screwball comedies of the 1930s. The 'hero' is a schlemiel of some kind, one of life's losers, even though he is probably rich and successful in business. In this one, the 'hero' is a man who has reached his 40s without ever having had a thought in his head (except, presumably, about money, since he is head of an important company and has a body guard.) The story turns on his meeting an out-of-work stage actress who gives English lessons for a living. The story follows their developing relationship along with their various friends and colleagues as they try to find love. It sounds sort of silly as I write about it - but it is highly complex and pushes the form. I just loved The Taste of Others. By the way, it was nominated for best foreign film in 2001.
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About the reviewer
Christopher Newton (Ponderpig)
Native San Franciscan living in Spokane, about halfway through my first novel, set in the 1965 pre-Summer of Love Haight-Ashbury with excursions into Swinging London, 1923 New York, and WWII in the Cotswold … more
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