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Saturday, June 08, 2013

SIFF Sighting: LOVE IS IN THE AIR (romance; France)

Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) is a woman living in New York, headed home to France to marry her boyfriend, who is a respected lawyer.

Antoine (Nicolas Bedos) is a mess—traipsing through life with one woman after another, none satisfying him for more than two weeks.

As often happens in romantic comedies, our two stars here have a "meet cute," and this time it's on an airplane in the seats right next to one another.

They both discover (Julie in horror; Antoine in delight) who they're seated with and we quickly learn they were longtime loves before Antoine did something horrible to wreck it all.

Through glasses of champagne and an abundance of turbulence, they recount their relationship for those within earshot and remember why they parted.

As often happens, the memories recalled make the mood bittersweet and the two must contemplate if they'll go their separate ways once the plane lands, or try one more time to be a successful couple.

Sagnier's manner is reminiscent of early Meg Ryan performances; Bedos nails his role as a careless playboy effortlessly, but what stops this film from being as charming as it wants to be are the continued formulaic scenarios.

The ending also risks leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Anyone who has ever had another person sabotage them for selfish reasons may not appreciate the resolution here.

The classic French Kiss would probably be a better option for those seeking a happily ever after rom com.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR screened at the 39th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.


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