La délicatesse [Delicacy] (2011)

La délicatesse
Director: David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos
Writer: David Foenkinos
Based on: David Foenkinos’ novel
Cast: Audrey Tautou, François DamiensPio Marmaï, Bruno Todeschini, Mélanie Bernier

Nathalie (Audrey Tautou) and François (Pio Marmaï) are the perfect couple and extremely happy with each other. But then François dies in an accident and Nathalie is completely lost. She throws herself into work, where she quickly rises to a management position. Three years later she is still mourning François, when she kisses her co-worker Markus (François Damiens) out of a reverie one day. But what started as absent-mindedness on Nathalie’s part, inspires Markus to openly court her and trying to gain her affection.

La délicatesse could have been extremely nice but since the script failed to give any of the characters actual personalities (the only one who actually does have a personality dies in the first 20 minutes), it gets stuck in mediocrity. And then the ending pushes it all the way to ridiculous.

Ah, if only the film had been about François! Not only is Pio Marmaï really cute, but François was extremely sweet and fun and he had real chemistry with Nathalie and you believed their relationship. But then he dies and with him dies all of Nathalie’s personality. Audrey Tautou spends the rest of the film looking pretty, but distraught and that sums up the depth of her character as well.

It might even have worked if at least Markus had had some kind of character traits. But the way we get to find out that he’s funny? It’s not by him being funny, it’s by Nathalie saying, “Oh, you have a sense of humor!” And that is just poor writing.

Also, I just didn’t get the apparent excitement that the relationship between Markus and Nathalie caused, especially when Nathalie’s best friend is completely taken aback when she sees Markus for the first time. I mean, yes, Markus is not good-looking and Nathalie is very pretty – but how often do you see couples like that?! Also, if my friend is excited about a guy she’s been telling me good things about and it’s the first guy in three years that has sparked any interest whatsoever in her, my reaction won’t be “you can do better” even if he is really bad looking. But maybe I’m weird that way.

And then the ending where Markus suddenly becomes the savior and metaphorically destroys all the pain in Nathalie’s heart – I’m sorry, that just made me laugh. (Especially because of the line about Nathalie sulking under the roses as a teenager – the perfect summation of what it means to be an emo teenager in my book.) It was just too cheesy.

Summarising: You can skip it but if you really want to see it, it’s watchable.

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