Actors: Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Rating: * 1/2 (1.5 Out of 5)
Every country, no matter how cliched its cinematic culture, produces some great cinema. To see not those great works, but a hackneyed, over-worked and witless film release in your country, is thus not only disappointing but a throwback to the dark ages. Sadly, French romantic comedy “Heartbreaker” is just that.
Alex (Romain Duris) is a con artist par excellence. He specialises in breaking-up soon to be married couples. He gets a new job that will pay him heftily but this case will prove to be tougher than he imagined, both professionally and personally.
Right from the word go, “Heartbreaker”, for anyone who has seen enough Hollywood films, reeks of unoriginality with ideas, moments and sub-plots stolen from the entire history of Hollywood.
This while the basic idea of a man breaking a couple, is just the opposite of “Hitch” (the beginning narrative of the film almost a replica), the body of the film has recognisable patched from all over and the end is an embarrassing re-enactment of Frank Capra’s 1934 multiple Oscar winning romantic caper, “It Happened One Night”.
The film thus, despite promises otherwise, turns out merely to be a very bad mismatch of gags and scenes from all over that are inconsistently and illogically patched together.
It tries its best at projecting class difference between the two lovers, something that was the crux of “It Happened One Night” but even the terrible “Bodyguard” starring Salman Khan does a better job of that than this one.
Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis may be two of the biggest stars in France, but keeping their stardom aside, considering that no one in India knows them, we realise that they do not make for a good onscreen couple.
The other big problem is with the writer whose idea of what a woman wants is not informed by any real woman, but by notions of femininity propagated by cheap, third rate books and cinema.
One is thus left wondering about the reason for this 2010 film to be released in India so late, especially considering that many exceptional French films wait in the docks.
The only reason that can indeed be found is that the producers of the film perhaps wanted to show it in India, hoping for some Bollywood producer to buy rights and remake this film. After all, if “Hitch” can be remade/copied, why not this?