Heartbreaker - Cinema Review

'Paradis and Duris charm and delight on occasion with Duris in particular hinting that there's a lot more to him than this'

Emanating Gallic charm and bravado from every inch of it's marketing effort, it's easy to feel like you know what you're going to get when you go in to Heartbreaker (or L'arnacoeur to give it its French moniker).

Alex Lippi (Romain Duris) is a professional relationship destroyer, hired by people (mostly male) to free their daughters, friends and sisters from relationships where they're obviously unhappy. Step forwards Juliette (Vanessa Paradis), a wealthy professional engaged to marry young and generous businessman Jonathan (Andrew Lincoln). The problem comes when her father (Jacques Frantz) hires Alex to break up the engagement in just ten days, spouting shady reasons and tempting Alex with a job he wouldn't usually take.

Which all means that what you do get from Heartbreaker is exactly what you would expect. There's some casual comedy and some 'I hate you/I love you' style romance between the two charming leads but that really is it. There's little attempt here to broaden the genre or even add new parts to it and the film generally plods along with few laugh out loud moments and some cringe-worthy attempts at humour from the comedy sidekick (François Damiens).

When it works it does work fairly well and Paradis and Duris charm and delight on occasion with Duris in particular hinting that there's a lot more to him than this. Some of the set pieces too are better executed than they would be in other film's with Heartbreaker's budget and the female comedy sidekick (Héléna Noguerra) is the source of some bawdy, but funny, humour.

However, there's a definite over-reliance on a former classic of the genre whose name shows up early on and on who's shoulders, much of the romantic tension rests. This serves as a nice metaphor for Heartbreaker as a whole, which, though inoffensive and entertaining, has practically nothing new to offer, rather serving as a French remake of Hollywood's greatest underdog romances.




Heartbreaker is out in UK cinemas on Friday 2nd July

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