REVIEW: Caprice (15)
* * * *
By Margaret Chrystall
WHEN romance turns up in French rom-coms, it rarely comes complete with views of the Eiffel Tower, pink cherry blossom and the sweet sound of relaxed jazz saxophone – as it does in Caprice.
Like last year’s Inverness Film Festival French romance Quantum Love, this is a story of a couple finding each other unexpectedly.
But though fate plays its part in both films, in both the humans also consciously make important choices rather than be carried where fate takes them.
Big on the philosophy of existentialism (the French invented it after all), these Gallic middle-class mid-lifers with stylish homes and comfortable lives act like any good existentialist with free choice – they make choices.
They make their own path, whether to succumb or not to love’s temptations, to shape their own lives, like grown-ups.
Serious stuff. So just as well there is plenty of gentle comedy from writer, director and lead actor Emmanuel Mouret.
Described as “champagne bubble cinema, intelligent and sparkling”, Caprice also celebrates the bread and butter of everyday life.
What happens? Separated dad, teacher Clement (Mouret) loves to watch his favourite actress Alicia at the theatre, where he meets drama student Caprice who has fallen for him. But not long after, pure coincidence throws Clement and Alicia together - and they start a relationship. But Caprice pops up again… and again, threatening everything. Meanwhile, Alicia and Clement’s best friend find themselves attracted to each other.
Who for? Lovers of French film, students of love and comedy – particularly where those cross over.
Best quote: The romantic comedy does romance – “Love becomes delirious when it’s unrequited”- and comedy “She’d gone off with an English magician, but he disappeared.”
Quick review: When coincidence offers sensitive, separated dad Clement the chance of love with the woman of his dreams, along comes Caprice falling like a bananaskin at his feet to upend him and risk his perfect new life.