Friday, May 30, 2014

Chinese Puzzle

I always look forward to any French film with either Romain Duris or Audrey Tautou.  And in the case of the beloved romantic dramedy 'L'Auberge Espagnole' (a.k.a. 'The Spanish Apartment'), back in 2002, we got both along with an ensemble of great actors from all over Europe.  A few years later that film spawned a sequel called 'Russian Dolls'.  And now almost a decade later, much like with the 'Before Sunrise'/'Before Sunset'/'Before Midnight' trilogy we get a new look into the love lives of our beloved characters.  This time Duris' Xavier must move to New York to be close to his kids, so it's mainly a fish out of water story, but in a refreshingly opposite way than us Americans are used to seeing it on screen.  We get a taste for what it's like to be a stranger in the strange land of New York City.  It's charming and just feels like the right ending (or possibly only continuation) of a great story over 10 years in the making.

Grade: A-

Who is this movie for?  Fans of 'The Spanish Apartment' and 'Russian Dolls' will definitely be pleased.  But if you're unfamiliar with the trilogy, it's a great time to binge watch the whole thing!  And yes, it's 50% in French, but it's also 50% in English making this the perfect transitional film for all you hesitant to read subtitles.

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