Heartbreaker

I’m not keen on romantic comedies. I suppose this is because they always follow a familiar pattern, with a couple of “opposites” eventually falling for each other after numerous tribulations. Also in these films the man is usually made out to be a jerk, which makes it unbelievable when the woman eventually falls for him.

The French film, Heartbreaker is one of the better romantic comedies that I’ve seen, because it has a few genuinely funny moments in it. However, it stays true to the genre by eventually sinking into complete unbelievability. The film tells the story of Alex (Romain Duris, who, although he never seems to shave, never grows a full beard), who along with his sister, Mélanie (Julie Ferrier, who was in Micmacs), and her husband, runs a business that breaks up undesired marriages. This is done by having Alex seduce the woman in each relationship. Now, obviously, any man who could do this for a living would have to be a cold-hearted bastard, yet we are supposed to believe that deep down Alex is really a decent guy.

An industrialist, Van Der Becq, hires Alex to break up the pending marriage between his daughter, Juliette (Vanessa Paradis, who needs to have braces put on her teeth) and Jonathan (Andrew Lincoln). Alex pretends to be a bodyguard hired by Van Der Becq to watch Juliette, and he begins his usual process of seduction. However, this time, just as you expect, he actually falls in love with his intended victim. Of course the film ends with Juliette leaving Jonathan for Alex. The idea seems to be that Alex appeals to a wild streak in Juliette’s personality that the staid Jonathan can never satisfy. However, we are still left with the fact that Alex is basically a creepy sort of gigolo. (And let’s not forget his creepy beard that never seems to grow out.) Though this sort of thing apparently doesn’t bother people who like romantic comedies.

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