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I DO

Director: ERIC LARTIGAU

FRANCE • 2006 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DTS STEREO • 90 MIN


TO GET HIS OVERBEARING FAMILY OFF HIS BACK, A HARDENED BACHELOR PAYS A FREE-SPIRITED YOUNG WOMAN TO POSE AS HIS FIANCEE IN I DO.
Luis (Alain Chabat), aged 43, has avoided serious relationships since his jovially domineering mother (Bernadette Lafont) and five sisters drove off his true love when he was 21. He makes out fine with women and enjoys his work as a ‘nose’, concocting upscale fragrances for a Paris perfumery. However, the six women in Luis’ family, fed up with doing his laundry and shopping, resolve to find him a spouse, whether he likes it or not. To halt the constant matchmaking, Luis contracts with a colleague’s sister, Emma (Charlotte Gainsbourg), to pretend to be his bride-to-be. Her assignment is to win over his family, then deliberately stand him up on their wedding day. Luis’ theory is that he’ll then be left alone to ‘grieve’, preferably for years to come. In private, the fauxlovebirds are strictly professional, but during her contractual social appearances Emma deftly says and does all the right things to convince Luis’ extended family that she’s the one. However, on the wedding day the charade takes on an unforeseen life of its own. The intelligently paced narrative allows Gainsbourg to flaunt her range, from charmingly resourceful to hurtful and odious. Both Gainsbourg and co-star Alain Chabat are in fine form here and made I Do a runaway hit in France. Director Eric Lartigau, who specialises in off-kilter comedies, ups the emotional stakes here in a film that remains in conventional if enjoyable movie territory. —Lisa Nesselson.

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