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The Extra Man

This film with Kevin Kline and Paul Dano is a delight for slightly insane minds. I say slightly, because Louis Ives (played wonderfully by Paul Dano) does bring a certain ‘normality’ to the canvas for utter ridiculousness that’s brought to you by Kevin Kline.

Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline) has factually nothing more than a spare bed and, OK, a couple of doors, to spare. Despite this, he rents this out to people he can allow to be that close to him. Henry appears to be a gentleman of sorts, but in the end is nothing more than a complete weirdo. A funny one though. Who goes on a date painting his feet in the color black because you can’t find your socks? Or pees in the street in an overcoat that is so wide that it won’t draw attention? Or has that many hypocritical opinions about sex? Who puts letters in the fridge?
Henry has and he is wonderfully inconstistent with them.

Meanwhile, Louis has his own problems with finding his way in life. Being a kindhearted soul, it’s not that hard for him to get in contact with people, but he does have a problem to define himself. Which brings him on the path of Henry, really.
Whilst living with Henry, Louis does try to get in touch with the parts of him he never had before. Just too bad he is a bit clumsy and, more so, naive. It’s his naivity that usually brings him and Henry closer together and in touch with the rules of the world outside.

It is quite a pleasure to watch, but probably not everyone’s cup of tea.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in Films, Humour, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Romantics Anonymous (Review)

Lovely endearing film of Jean-Pierre Améris. This film is a very lighthearted, funny, and quite frankly simply a joy to watch.

Two people who are basically emotionally retarded, happen to cross each others paths.
Angélique Delange has to tell herself about fifty times she can do something before she does it. She hums it, repeats it, like a magical formula, to make sure her inner self knows. Jean-René van den Hughe is her boss, who works at a chocolate factory that’s nearly broke. Still, they need someone to help to sell the chocolate they make.Jean-René has a taperecorder in one of his drawers that tells him he’s a man, a vulcano, that he is strong and can deal with all of the world. He can’t pick up a phone if he doesn’t know who’s phoning him (no mobiles in this film, so oops!). Fantastic.

Reminds of Amélie, but that’s probably also because the actress who plays her mother (Lorella Cravotta) plays in this film aswell. She is Magda here, one of the women who works in the chocolate factory. Where Amélie tells about a girl who doesn’t know how to make proper contact with a man, that element is visible here too, though in different measures. This film also reminds of Amélie because of the ridiculic situations that hop along the merry melody of the main characters. You’d think there’s no way of making some of the stuff up. And yet, there it is.
It also reminds of The Sound Of Music, since the song that Maria sings to herself before entering the Von Trapps’ premises, is sang here too. In French, but still. Even the scene of Maria swinging her suit- and guitarcase around is being repeated here.
The only con I have here, is that although this film reminds of these two films, the soundtrack simply isn’t as strong. You more or less expect the music to touch your very soul. That doesn’t happen.

So, we have two pretty big idiots, Angélique and Jean-René. Now what? Well, Angélique attends meetings of Les émotifs anonymous (hence the title of the film), while Jean-René goes to a psychologist. Who gives him assignments.
As Jean-René has never been with a woman -they scare the crap out of him- he is told to ask a woman out.
At the same time, Angélique, who has been hired within 5 minutes, discovers that she has not, in fact, been given the job of chocolatier, as she wished, but of commercial seller. Angélique dreads contact with people. She faints as soon as she gets too much attention. Not the best quality for a seller.
So, she decides to quit. At the same moment where Jean-René is trying his best to invite someone to have dinner with. As neither of them can read any kind of bodylanguage, it ends up with the two of them having dinner, of course.

The night of the dinner, Angélique enters the restaurant first, with hiccups. Realising that she has no idea what her boss is called. Which is unlucky, as the waiter just asked you who made the reservation at the restaurant?
Whilst she sits down, Jean-René enters the restaurant, fleas off to the restrooms and puts a suitcase on top of the cistern. You go ‘wtf?!’ but after that, he simply walks to the mirror, tells himself some powertalk, then joins his coworker. This is only the weird start of that date.
It doesn’t end well that night. And still, she comes in to work the next day, after Jean-René has told his coworkers she won’t be returning.

I could give you so many examples as to why this film is fantastic. It simply is. Who goes to the loo to change into a new shirt every 5 seconds? Who pretends to be a less successful person, just to be able to be a shyer version of yourself, so you can live in peace? Who tells a man she has plans to marry him, has a dozen of his babies, but just enough to keep the sexlife interesting, after only one kiss?

It is such a joy to watch a film with two quirky beings having no proper example of how things should be, so things are complicated, but not in the emotional way. They don’t get hurt, just heavily confused. A joy to watch.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Films, Opinion

 

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