Beautiful Lies / De vrais mensonges (Pierre Salvadori, 2010)

Beautiful lies
Secret crushes, anonymous letters redirected to new recipients and mistaken identities – this could be the recipe for a farce though this French movie is a little slow and gentle for a classic farce, but is still very enjoyable.

Emilie (Audrey Tautou) runs a hairdressers where her handyman, Jean (Sami Bouajila) is secretly in love with her. Unknown to Emilie, Jean is actually far, far too qualified to be a handyman. Previously working at the UN as a translator, Jean only started working for Emilie as a stopgap and has stayed there to be close to her. Trying to make something happen, Jean starts writing anonymous letters to Emilie but Emilie decides that these letters would be better directed to her mother, Maddie (Nathalie Baye) who has been moping since she split up from her husband; a secret admirer is just what Maddie will need. Cue the twists and turns as everyone tries to get what they want without admitting what they’ve done…

This isn’t a great film but it plays on Tautou’s undoubted star quality – her character’s name appears to be a nod to her most famous role, also something of a fixer – with a good supporting cast, and is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours, and there are a few genuinely touching moments.

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