The Movie Waffler New Release Review [Cinema/VOD] - ANAIS IN LOVE | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [Cinema/VOD] - ANAIS IN LOVE

anais in love review
A young woman pursues the wife of her older lover.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet

Starring: Anaïs Demoustier, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Denis Podalydès, Jean-Charles Clichet, Xavier Guelfi, Christophe Montenez, Anne Canovas, Bruno Todeschini

anais in love poster

Did director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet have Anais Demoustier in mind when she sat down to write her feature debut Anais in Love? It would certainly seem so, as the film provides a bespoke vehicle for Demoustier's charm.

anais in love review

The young woman who shares Demoustier's name isn't so much a trainwreck as a train whose engineer has fallen asleep at the controls and is now hurtling towards its own destination. Bourgeois-Tacquet's camera struggles to keep up with her heroine, who is constantly cycling or running around the streets of Paris and the fields of Normandy in her quest to live each day as though it were her last. She's two months behind on her rent and has just been dumped by her boyfriend Raoul (Christophe Montenez) because she hates sleeping with other people (she's fine with sex, it's just sharing a bed that bothers her). Oh, and she's seven weeks pregnant, a detail she kept concealed from an outraged Raoul.

anais in love review

Anais further complicates her life by having an affair with considerably older and considerably married publisher Daniel (Denis Podalydès). When Daniel decides that a young woman is just too much work, Anais turns her attention to Daniel's author wife Emilie (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), stalking her in the streets of Paris before following her to a Normandy chateau where she's delivering a symposium.

Thus Anais charms her way into the heart and pants of this older woman, only for Daniel to show up. The stage is set for a classic farce. Trouble is, the characters here are very modern, very French, and very liberated. This means there are no real stakes to Emilie discovering that Anais was previously involved with her husband, so much of the comic potential of the scenario that might have worked in a different setting or era simply isn't present here.

anais in love review

Anais is running headlong into life while trying to figure out what path to follow. The same could be said for the film around her. Bourgeois-Tacquet's script often feels like it's being made up on the fly, with subplots introduced that appear to be forgotten about until the movie needs to wrap things up. The effect on Anais of learning her mother's Cancer has returned is detailed only through Anais crying in a very picturesque garden, never mentioned again until the film's closing scene. It's all very slight and sunny, and the dramatic stakes are about as low as they get. But thanks to an effervescent performance from Demoustier, the film that bears her name is always watchable.

Anais in Love is in UK/ROI cinemas and VOD from August 19th.

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