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Saturday, June 7, 2008

A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (2004)

After the immensely popular AMELIE, you’d have been forgiven for thinking the combination of actress Audrey Tautou & megger Jean-Pierre Jeunet could make a Mallomar out of the Holocaust. And that’s what they start off doing to WWI in this sweeping romantic picaresque of a tuba playing, polio scarred waif who’s searching, searching, searching for her fiance 2 years after the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. But this time, Jeunet is working from an old-fashioned potboiler by Sebastien Japrisot who knows how to load up & deliver flashbacks, plot twists and clues within a formal structure that swoons with beloved cornball elements right out of RANDOM HARVEST and CYRANO. All Jeunet’s techniques & CGI effects, & even Jodie Foster, can’t quite bury the good-natured character tics and audience pleasing plot mechanics, even if the big emotions never pan out as they should.

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