Well I guess when you use the set dresser as a link in a chain to try to get you away from a shallow French movie about adultery it’s inevitable that you end up in a farce about casual prostitution. OK, prostitution is too strong, but I don’t really know the one word verb for “dating older people casually for their money while falling in love with someone doing the same thing, and shaking people down for hotel rooms and scooters.” Conning? Whatever, it’s not important.
That opening makes it seem like I don’t like Priceless, which isn’t true. It was light and peppy, the definition of a ‘romp,’ which isn’t a word I generally like, but seems particularly apropos here. The set-up should be really sleazy, and at times this movie veers kind of close to that, especially in one heart-wrenching scene where our hapless hero (Gad Elmaleh) gives his last Euro for ten more seconds of Audrey Tautou’s time, but ultimately the cartoonishly charming Elmaleh and Tautou bounce around in a ridiculously luxurious world that in no way seems real. So I easily turned off the scrupulous part of my brain and just enjoyed the happy ride.
Elmaleh in particular exudes a delightful innocence throughout the first half of the movie, so even when he starts scheming it seems like it comes from a good place. I loved all of his hangdog facial expressions. So I’m going to use him as the link, and re watch Midnight in Paris. (I know I said that I was going to use this Six Degrees thing as a way to watch new things, but I recently read A Moveable Feast, and I don’t remember Elmaleh in that at all which given how distinctive he seems in Priceless is shocking to me. Plus I make the rules, so I get to break them…)
Side note – I now have this great version of “Whatever Lola Wants” stuck in my head, which I’m sure my neighbors are excited about:
In this chain: