Not being a through and through French film enthusiast, but rather an admirer from afar, I thought I would dip my toe in the pool of the French film. I chose Delicacy starring Audrey Tautou, and honestly, I’m not sure why I choose this particular film, but it stood out. And the genre, being a romantic comedy, is another reason I choose it, strangely.
Audrey Tautou plays the delightful Nathalie Kerr, a woman in love with a man named Francois. In romantic comedy fashion, they become engaged and eventually married. I must admit, I find it usually quite humdrum and boring, but with this one, I found it, something I don’t often say, adorable.
What’s a romantic comedy without a splash of tragedy? Well, Delicacy is not one to miss out on this dose as it takes this heartfelt, adorable relationship we see unfolding and takes it away from us as quickly as we were introduced. This of course, spirals sweet, adorable Nathalie into a deep depression in which she locks herself away, in a typical, cliché fashion. She decides after a period of time to stop moping, and, finally go back to work.
Following these scenes, Chloe, a character we were introduced to earlier in the film gives the necessary information, to her co-workers, that is had been three years since Francois’ death and also that Nathalie has become a very work orientated woman, that is all work and no play.
That is until an odd kiss happens, in which she initiates, clearly in a daydream state. She kisses her colleague Markus, this is for me, when the comedy begins to happen, as dazed as the audience, he begins his walk home with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and an assortment of things happen to him. Due to his uplifting good mood, he comes to his apartment building and it appears he has forgotten the code to get into his apartment building. Now this is pretty damn funny, as he looks around intently trying to remember the code.
When Markus comes to visit Nathalie in the office once more, it becomes clear to him that this relationship becomes a unrequited one, however, this is not enough for the hapless Markus who attempts to court her in a varied scheme. Their relationship eventually starts to blossom as they spend more and more time together, but what’s that without a little bit of trouble, firstly Markus trying to cut Nathalie out of his life for fear of falling in love and the over complication of the boss trying to woo Nathalie too. The gentle attempts are brilliant because they are not extravagant, they are simple and average, something people do in everyday lives, and this is one of the better devices used, as there can be a connection made.
The film is summed up, beautifully, may I add when Markus and Nathalie visit Madeliene, Nathalie’s grandmother. They become very passionate, confirming their relationship more than anything and if that wasn’t enough and didn’t make you feel joyed, they play a game of a hide and seek – a game Nathalie used to play in the same garden – and Markus retraces the different ages of Nathalie. From her youth playing hide and seek, to spending time with Francois and eventually grieving about Francois. Markus, doing the voice over ends the film with “this place in her heart, is where I will hide”. It’s a nice and adequate ending as it shows Nathalie through the relationship with Markus, has begun to enjoy life again, much like when we see the memories shown in this garden of her grandmothers.
It’s a very adorable film and as I said, not my usual taste, but it made me smile almost all the way through. It’s nothing special outside of the romantic comedy, but it certainly isn’t the worst one I’ve seen. Audrey Tautou is beautiful in this film and her co-star Francois Damiens playing Markus is brilliant too, playing a seemingly plain man, but instead at heart is just being a gentleman. The film being simple is possibly the best technique for the Foenkinos brothers, as the simple act of the two characters falling in love, is the thing about this film that makes it special and of course, enjoyable.
I would definitely recommend this film, but it’s not the type of film you would curl up into a ball with a tub of ice cream, but rather the type of film that makes you smile, much like Markus’ smile when he first gets kissed by Nathalie. I wouldn’t say this film does expand on the already known genre of romantic comedies, but it’s certainly one of the best I’ve seen, of the little amount that I have actually seen.