Up for Love

 

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A delightful romantic comedy from France, Up for Love shows that small can be beautiful.

 

Up for Love

The size of it: Jean Dujardin and Virginie Efira

 

Following a flaming row with her ex, Diane Duchêne (Virginie Efira) leaves her phone behind at a restaurant. Not long afterwards a strange man rings her back at her apartment and, with a bit of coaxing, persuades her to meet him for lunch the following day. Not knowing what to expect, Diane is more surprised than she could have imagined: the stranger who rescued her phone (Jean Dujardin) is suave, charming, funny, handsome and fabulously wealthy. And 4’7”…

 

The French have a habit of producing delightful romantic comedies with a twist, which often end up being remade by Hollywood. The difference here is that Laurent Tirard’s effortlessly Gallic and engaging comedy is a remake of a 2013 Argentine film, Corazón de León.

 

Although technically a romcom, Up for Love is more than just touching and funny, although it is certainly both those things. The director has enough confidence in his stars to hold a shot when he needs to, which creates a different kind of romantic tension. Ultimately, though, the film is about prejudice, in whatever form it occurs, and in spite of his enormous success, Dujardin’s Alexandre does have his shortcomings – but only because of the preconceptions of other people.

 

As with the recent advances in nanotechnology, Up for Love should shine a fresh light on our own bias towards the less than lofty. The diminutive can be extraordinary. It’s a small film, but an enchanting, witty and poignant one.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Virginie Efira, Cédric Kahn, Stéphanie Papanian, César Domboy.

 

Dir Laurent Tirard, Pro Sidonie Dumas and Vanessa van Zuylen, Screenplay Laurent Tirard and Grégoire Vigneron, Ph Jérôme Alméras, Pro Des Françoise Dupertuis, Ed Valérie Deseine, Music Éric Neveux, Costumes Valérie Artiges-Corno.

 

VVZ Production/Gaumont/M6 Films/Scope Pictures-Soda Pictures.

98 mins. France. 2016. Rel: 5 August 2016. Cert. 12A.