Friends familiar with the films of François Ozon, like Jeune & Jolie (2013) or Dans la maison (2012), will expect something slightly off-key with his new film. Essentially this is a ‘rom-com’ [romantic comedy], but one that is atypical of the genre. Among the pleasures that it offers are wit, and humour but also the unexpected. Moreover, the film is adapted from a novel by Ruth Rendell, a writer who, like Ozon, is able to confound expectations.
The film opens with a family tragedy but then explores the development of a new relationship, one full of ambiguities and ambivalence. The film manages to offer moments of emotion together with frequent and pleasurable surprises: note the UK trailer unfortunately pre-empts one of the best of these.
The lead protagonist is David, played with assurance and a sense of enjoyment by Romain Duris. He is possibly the most gifted and charismatic of the younger French actors, and he is always willing to explore different roles. Opposite him is Claire, played beautifully by Anaïs Demoustier. At times she reminded me irresistibly of the young Isabel Hubert.
I found the film both entertaining and involving.