Seeing as I am taking French classes at school, I like to watch French movies and read French books to try and see how much I understand.While I still need subtitles, I sometimes understand a lot more than I ever expected; in “teacher speak” (something I do a lot) this is the equivalent of a progress report. It is sort of an “l like to see how much I have learned, and how much I need to work on” type thing.
So Cal (Bullshish to you) and I have this movie trade off thing, and I am due to watch Cinderella Man sometime in the very, very near future, I promise. But tonight he convinced me to do a free trial of Netflix (turns out he didn’t have to do much convincing) and they have this instant watch type feature. So I was scrolling through those, and instead of watching my latest movie trade off like a good person, I watched a French chick flick that I have been dying to see for a long time.
After seeing Amelie I fell in love with Audrey Tautou. Then I saw the preivew for this movie, and knew I must see it at once. Hors de prix (or rather Priceless in English) is the story of a poor waitor named Jean, who works at a VERY rich hotel, and a gal named Irène, who mistakes Jean as a wealthy man who will foot the bill for her widly expensive habits because she too is very poor and goes from rich man to rich man who all buy her pretty things that I would KILL for. This film was supposedly adapted from Breakfast at Tiffany’s so if you have seen that movie, you can pretty much compare her to Holly. Only this one is French. And she doesn’t have a cat.
Now, it is a well known fact that I love my share of chick flicks/rom-coms/whatever you want to call them. I have a saying, and that is almost every single chick flick/rom-com/whatever you want to call them can be traced back to the plot of any one Jane Austen novel. They follow specific guidelines. Boy and Girl meet. Boy and Girl casually/secretly/sort-of flirt but are usually (1) to busy loathing each other to figure out it is true love, or (2) seeing someone else and can’t see that it is true love. Boy and Girl find ways of always running into each other. Boy and Girl have epiphanies and realize it IS love, but can’t do anything about it because (1) they are scared the other doesn’t feel the same way, or (2) they are still with that other someone because it is comfortable. Boy or Girl does something in the form of a grand gesture, and in the end Boy and Girl live happily ever after. These guidelines may vary from movie to movie, but they generally tend to stay the same.
So when I started Hors de prix I expected it to go this route. (After all, I didn’t know much about the movie other than the star and that it was French.) The plot line actually caught me off guard a little ways into it, but I liked the change. I mean, yes I figured out how it would end long before it was over, but when you watch as many chick flicks as I do, you tend to have a special gift for this. But the change of pace was quite nice. The cast was great and everyone fit their roles perfectly. Audrey is such a wonderful actress and has the best facial expressions (doesn’t hurt that she is quite beautiful). Gad Elmaleh (Jean) was a perfect fit for his role. He was quirky and shy, and I liked that he wasn’t some major French hottie because that would have totally ruined his role in the movie. Granted, he was cute, but I saw a handful of more gorgeous men on the streets of Paris, JUST SAYING.
Overall I totally recommend this movie to anyone, be it chick flick or not. If you like forigen films do give this one a try. You get funny and sweet and charming- all in one sitting! I promise you will like it, and if you don’t… well then you can just go ahead a put a nice, big check mark next to BE MORE CULTURED.