Up for Love review – French romcom falls short

Oscar winner Jean Dujardin plays a vertically challenged lover in a comedy that constantly misfires

Jean Dujardin, the star of The Artist and possessor of the toothiest grin in cinema, is digitally reduced in size to 4ft 5ins as the romantic lead in this amiable but not altogether successful French romcom. He is Alexandre, a dazzlingly successful, well-connected architect who woos lawyer Diane (Virginie Efira) after she leaves her phone in a restaurant following an argument with her ex. They’re a perfect match. But can Diane see past her own prejudices and Alexandre’s underwhelming inside-leg measurement and accept that good things can come in small packages?

The vive la (height) difference message and the slightly earnest third act are undermined by a slapdash approach to consistency, both tonally and in terms of the digital manipulation of Dujardin’s height. A film that preaches acceptance should perhaps refrain from chucking around so many jokes at the diminutive character’s expense. And a movie that relies on the emotional authenticity of the central relationship should probably have cast a smaller actor in the lead role. Instead, the audience is constantly distracted by a character who seems to change size from scene to scene, depending on how much the film-makers decided to spend on the digital effects at any given moment.

Both Efira and Dujardin are charismatic performers, and the honey-drenched warmth of the cinematography makes the aspirational interiors look almost edible. But the sanctimonious score, by Emilie Gassin, is another tonal misfire in a film that can’t quite decide what it is.

Watch a trailer for Up For Love.

Contributor

Wendy Ide

The GuardianTramp

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