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Aie

Ouch!

Topped by a wonderful performance from the now veteran Andre Dussollier as a 50-year-old Lothario who meets his match in a weirdo waitress, Aie (Ouch) is a delightful comedy of manners that’s far better than writer-director Sophie Fillieres’ sombre first feature, Grande petite (1994). From his first, slightly klutzy entrance, Dussollier constructs a memorable, off-kilter character in Robert, a dapper middle-aged man who’s a bag of scarcely concealed neuroses but who simply can’t stop himself coming on to women. Dragged to a hospital by his sister to see the baby of her friend Claire (Emmanuelle Devos), Robert realises that he’s still in love with Claireoan old girlfriendoespecially when she tells him one of her baby’s names is his.
Robert is mortified by his self-discovery. Later, in a bistro, he gets the second shock of his life. While casually chatting up a tall, lanky young waitress, Marie-Pierre (played the director’s sister, Helene Fillieres), she suddenly offers to fall in love with him. The somewhat shy Marie-Pierre turns out to be seriously out-there. Nicknamed Aie by family, she tells Robert that she regularly throws up everything she eats, has to pretend she’s gone to take a shower when she does, and (because her breath stinks afterwards) she carries around a supply of airline toothbrushes that her pilot father gives her. On an overnight visit to Aie’s parentsowho are as loopy as she isoRobert ends up sharing her bedroom, where Aie imparts some even weirder news about her background.
France, 2000. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby/dts digital stereo. 106 min.

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