Today: February 21, 2024

Romantics Anonymous

The French have a reputation for being great romantics, not to mention arrogant, in their list of national stereotypes.

The French have a reputation for being great romantics, not to
mention arrogant, in their list of national stereotypes.
It is
generally agreed that if you want to speak about romance, l’amour, then French
is the language of choice and as a nation, the French (or so they believe) are
the experts. However, the heroes of this light comedy are incurably shy rather
than incurable romantics.

Angelique, a
painfully timid chocolatier who uses an alias to hide her skills, attends the
titular support group (which bears no resemblance to the support groups in
Fight Club) in the hope of improving her social skills. She is also looking for
a new job, which leads her to the Chocolate Mill, run by the equally retiring
Jean-René, who is seeing a therapist to help him overcome his inability to
interact with the women he so adores. Unfortunately for Angelique, she is
mistakenly hired as a sales rep to try and save the company from bankruptcy,
but she is too timid to let her boss know that she wanted to make the
chocolates rather than just sell them. Will their shared passion for chocolate
help them overcome their social ineptitude and discover the love they both so
desperately seek?

Jean-Pierre Jeunet set the benchmark for quirky French
romantic comedy with Amelie, and
while Romantics Anonymous doesn’t try to imitate it, it has it in its DNA and
certainly owes more to Amelie than most French films in the genre, where the
comedy can tend more towards broad farce than anything else. This is a gentle
comedy and even the awkward moments don’t encompass the cringe worthy that too
many British (so-called) comedies tend to at the moment.

Like good quality chocolate, this film is bittersweet without being
sickly, although it doesn’t satisfy in the way a good meal does, but makes a perfect
accompaniment to a romantic dinner for two.

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