French Film (2008)

Hugh Bonneville in French Film (2008)

Don't Judge a DVD by Its Cover

Interviewer Jed (Hugh Bonneville) decides it is time to ask Cheryl (Victoria Hamilton), his girlfriend of 10 years, to marry him. Unfortunately she says no and it causes their relationships to suffer. It leads seeing a relationship councillor for advice which wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't French as Jed is typically British and can't stand the French who he thinks are pretentious. To make matters worse not only does Jed find his next interview is with pretentious French director Thierry Grimandi (Eric Cantona) but his best friend Marcus (Douglas Henshall) seems to be happily in love with Sophie (Anne-Marie Duff).

The DVD cover made "French Film" looked like a British romantic comedy which with Hugh Bonneville and Victoria Hamilton had me thinking this could be another Richard Curtis style romantic comedy. Of course you can't judge a book by its cover nor a DVD and so the write ups I found mentioned it was a romantic comedy but built around the classic comic element of an Englishman detesting everything French but confronted by everything French. That sounded right up my street and sat down to watch "French Film" expecting to be amused by some obvious daftness.

87 minutes later I have not been so bored in a long time and if I had realised this was a movie where people talked and talked and talked I probably wouldn't have watched it. Now maybe my boredom comes down from misguided expectations and if I had watched "French Film" aware of its pretentious nature then maybe I would have enjoyed it or if not at least been impressed by it. But what to me could have been a really funny movie ended up one which was light on comedy with more jokes missing the mark than hitting including as something as simple as going to give a kiss on the cheek and forgetting you have a large cycling helmet on.

The only compliment I can give "French Film" is that Hugh Bonneville is amusing an a Jeremy Clarkson style character and Eric Cantona gets in touch with those seagulls as a pretentious French director.

What this all boils down to is that "French Film" is not for me and was 87 minutes of dull talking and humour which frequently fails to hit the mark. As I said if I had watched more aware of its talkative nature then maybe I might have enjoyed it more but it is a case that "French Film" looks like something which it isn't.