It was a pretty dismal wet Sydney summer’s day and the French film ‘Apre Vous’ was just the right kind of film to see. It put me in a much better frame of mind. It of-course helps when you have one of my favourite french actors, Daniel Auteuil, in one of the leading roles. My God, what a craggy, marvelously expressive face he has.
‘Apre Vous’ , directed by Pierre Dalvadori, has a fetching scenario. Antoine is a mild mannered waiter who works in a sophisticated Paris restaurant. He has finished his shift for the night, and is making his way home through the park when he sees a man, Louis, trying to hang himself off a tree, after his girlfriend has broken up with him. Antoine talks Louis out of suicide and because he is so worried about his state of mind takes him home to care for him.
How to describe the characters of these two leading men?! After all, I’m from the school that believes that character creates plot. Antoine is a pretty straight, conservative,urbane bloke. His biggest trait is that he pretty much has a heart of gold. Louis is the more interesting, and the fleshier of the main characters. How to describe him? He’s a bit of a no-hoper…a basket case…a nerd….a romantic fool…a Jerry Lewis kind of character. Well, that’s a start anyway. Have you got the picture?! He’s the kind of character that one can make a lot more of!
It’s the endless complications that these two characters face as a result of their friendship pact that makes this film such a joy. Antoine’s wife finds it hard to get used to Louis always being around. For her it’s certainly a case of two’s company threes a crowd.
It isn’t long into the film that it hit me that Antoine was developing something of a martyr complex in regards to his new friend. His martyr type nature reminded me of Amelie’s non stop giving nature in the film of the same name.
Antoine decides to, off his own bat, to turn Louis’s life around. He gets the clumsy Louis a job in his restaurant with some hilarious consequences. The guy can’t waiter for anything, and sends the restaurant manager into total hysteria.
Antoine also strives to get Louis’s ex-girlfriend, Martine, who runs a flower shop, to return to him. This particular journey of his is incredibly challenging, especially when Martine in her romantic life is far from a wall flower!
I hope that with this little preview I have given you a good enough taste that you’ll want to go and see this film. This is my hope any way! And one last thing, the film has a really sassy ending, one to die for!