Let the scavenger hunt begin. In On the Run, an escaped con played by director-actor Lucas Belvaux is hidden inside a country cottage by a police officer’s junkie wife, Agnès (Dominique Blanc). The couple that owns the cottage, Alain (François Morel) and Cecile (Ornella Muti), are the dynamic duo of Belvaux’s An Amazing Couple, the second part of his Trois Genres. While Bruno (Belvaux) is on the run from the law in the background, Alain and Cecile’s relationship slowly deteriorates after an endless string of misunderstandings. Alain is a hypochondriac so afraid of a looming but routine operation that he dictates his will into a handheld recorder. Cecile dutifully misinterprets her husband’s secretiveness, enlisting Agnès’s police officer husband, Pascal (Gilbert Melki), and Alain’s secretary, Claire (Valérie Mairesse), to find out if he’s having an affair. Morel, whose character doesn’t appear in On the Run, is remarkable here, and the film’s funniest bits feature his fickle character altering his will whenever family and friends annoy him. An Amazing Couple is a chronicle of an elaborate mix-up, and though Belvaux gets considerable mileage out of the lengths Alain and Cecile will go to in order to catch each other in an inexistent act, the film is pretty unamazing and says very little about what motivates men and women to believe the worst about each other. The one or two people likely to catch the film without ever seeing On the Run or After the Life may be confused by the film’s auxiliary characters, who stand out more in this film than they do in the others. As for those interested in the relationship between the three films, Belvaux offers the occasional overlap: An Amazing Couple’s Alain goes through the same roadblock Bruno does in On the Run, and since An Amazing Couple is told through Alain and Cecile’s perspective, the audience (like Cecile) doesn’t see the gun Bruno is packing behind his back when she confronts him at her cottage. At best, these scenes can only be described as cute, because nothing that happens in one film illuminates what happens in the others. Belvaux himself seems unprepared to address the trilogy’s proposed mathematical meta, which one of his characters seemingly scribbles on a chalkboard early on: “What must be shown is worthless.” Stay tuned for more adventure.
- Magnolia Pictures
- 100 min
- Lucas Belvaux
- Lucas Belvaux
- Ornella Muti, François Morel, Valérie Mairesse, Bernard Mazzinghi, Dominique Blanc, Gilbert Melki, Catherine Frot, Lucas Belvaux, Patrick Depeyrrat
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