Director: Justine Triet
Writer: Justine Triet, Thomas Lévy-Lasne
Cast: Virginie Efira, Vincent Lacoste, Melvil Poupaud, Laurent Poitrenaux, Laure Calamy, Alice Daquet
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 28.10.2016
Victoria (Virginie Efira) is a successful lawyer, divorced, and has two cute children, so between her job and her kids and leading her own (romantic and sex) life, it’s no surprise that things get a bit messy around her. But it is stressful and unclear how long she can actually keep doing it, when she’s already spending large amounts on babysitters and therapy. When she meets two old acquaintances at a wedding, her life takes a turn: Vincent (Melvil Poupaud) is an old friend and becomes a client when his girlfriend accuses him or murder and Sam (Vincent Lacoste) used to be a client who dealt drugs and is now looking for a job and becomes her assistant/babysitter.
Victoria is an entertaining, enjoyable romantic comedy that nicely turns some of the more sexist genre tropes on their head. Contrary to most Viennale films, it’s a bit of lightweight fun and I liked that gear switch.
Contrary to most RomComs where the good woman is patiently waiting for the man to figure himself out, while she quietly fixes all his messes until he comes to his senses, in Victoria we get the opposite dynamic: Victoria gets to be as messy as possible and Sam, who already matured quite a bit quietly fixes her life in the background and takes care of her until she’s ready to be with him. Plus add to that that Victoria is his senior in all regards – she’s older than him, she’s his employer – and we get even more trope subversion that I very much loved.
Both Virginie Efira and Vincent Lacoste play their roles most charmingly and have good chemistry with each other, so it’s not difficult at all to root for them as a couple. In fact they’re so cute with each other, they became even cuter themselves. Not that hard with the beautiful Efira, but Lacoste is usually not my case. Here he is.
But it’s not only on a romantic level that the film genderflips a few RomCom conventions. We never really learn much about Sam as his own person or see him outside of Victoria’s life. Victoria and her life, on the other hand, are as fleshed out as can be and it’s simply lovely to see that she’s is surrounded by women.
Since the movie is fast-paced and fun, despite a couple of more serious moments, time simply flies by as you watch it – and personally, I enjoyed every minute of it.