Julia Roberts is known all over the world for her roles in the romantic comedies. She is a nice actress with a beautiful charming smile. I think, Audrey Tautou is a much much better actress than Mrs. Roberts. Her smile is not as charming as Julia, but as an actor she is one or two levels above. But most people who know Julia would not have even heard about Audrey. Audrey, however, is lucky to be in French movies. The artistic and aesthetic sense of French is so much high than in Hollywood that even average French movies could be considered as classics, outside Europe. Audrey Tautou keeps on playing wonderful roles.
Emilie runs a beauty salon. Her father, is in love with a 20 year old, is seeking divroce and her mother, Maddy, is depressed. Jean, who works in her salon, sends Emilie an anonymous love letter. Emilie is least interested, but then decides to send this letter to her mother to lift her spirits. Sure, it did, but then she had to make up two more letters on her own. Maddy mistakes Jean as her writer. Emilie is in serious trouble.
This is a brilliant romantic comedy. Mistaken identities, misunderstandings, untold love, search for love, all its there, but there is a touch of class all over too. The characters are brilliant. Emilie really wants to help her mother come out of the depression so she doesnt think twice before sending her a love letter. Only later does she realise, how difficult it is to creat one by herself, which she cannot without the help of being drunk. At the same time, Emilie is somebody who walked out of a relationship when she realised her partner was more educated than her and is a man of letters. A simple reason, why the beautiful love letter, she received, didnt touch her at all. When she finds out that Jean is an intelligent chap, her irritation with him is wonderful. In fact the series of firing and reappointment of Jean is really funny. Maddy is depressed because of her husband, but she is a literature person so is moved by the adorable love letter. The way the love letter lift her spirits is really good. But she is soon depressed as the passion is absent in the second letter. Her search for the writer and her following up for Jean, and her final realisation of the truth it is all quite wonderful. Jean is a man of letters, knowing so many languages, who took up a maintenance job in the salon only to be near Emilie. But he is kind and sensuous too. So his frustration and kind of being out of mind, after the forced kiss with Maddie was really excellent. There are also couple of other small characters, like the partner of Emilie etc, who all does their part in the story.
Except for the final moments, when Maddy realises the truth or Emilie understands Jean, the movie moves on with brilliant moments of subtle fun. How can the French be so good. Its unbelievable, how some scenes, dialogues and characters are created. It is the reactions and expressions of the characters, of course with the situations, which makes the incredibly funny moments and it is really brilliant. Almost all the scenes, involving Emilie, Jean and Maddy for the three fourths of the movie offer excellent laughs. At the same time, we are also worried about their future and are touched by the three, for how things turn up for them towards the end. A small lovely turn brings the movie to a nice end.
Adurey Tautou is brilliant and brilliant. What an actress. She is living Emilie in the screen, is quite easy to say. But there were really tough scenes here where she had to give those spontaneous reactions and she excelled in each of them. A terrific performance. Nathalie Baye was also wonderful, especially when she was doing a spirited Maddy in love. The change of spirits was so lovely. Sami Bouajila was excellent as well. Couple of his moments, especially when Emilie walks in late at night to explain him that Maddy has mistaken him, was brilliant. Some of his reactions were hilarious. So was his excellent execution with the frustration and anger, after the forced kissing scene.
I had seen Hors de Prix from Mr. Salvadori. I am not sure, which is a better movie as both have very different themes, and if I have to pick I would definitely go for DVM. Whatever, Pierre Salvadori is a wonderful movie maker. De Vrais Mensonges is a beautiful movie and all credits should go for this man. My all time favourite romantic comedy was Notting Hill. I think De Vrais Mensonges is even classy than Notting Hill. All it lacks is the marketing support of a huge company from Hollywood. A great movie, at the end of which, I wish I was a writer to really express how I felt.
Hopefully, like in the case of many other movies, within a few years, this movie would be remade in Hollywood. I can see Julia Roberts playing Emilie and the movie becoming an international hit. Fans of Hollywood will again rave about the greatness of Hollywood (like it happened with many other remakes) and these brilliant artistes behind the original would be forgotten.