Le Voyage Aux Pyrenees

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Cannes Film Festival Directors Fortnight


"Le Voyage aux Pyrenees" may be one of the darkest comedies every made. That's not in terms of theme or style, but rather in terms of illumination. With more dark shadows and gray backdrops than most horror films render in three outings, it's particularly confounding since this is generically a romantic comedy. Distribution prospects are grim outside of native France for this Directors' Fortnight entrant.

The balmy story of a husband/wife movie star team who go to the farthest reaches of the Pyrennes to escape the paparazzi and rekindle their sex life, this romp is further impaled by a dirge-like score and other aesthetics more appropriate to a vampire movie.

In short, it seems that filmmakers Arnaud Larrieu and Jean-Marie Larrieu may have confused the Pyrennes with Transylvania, so forbidding and harrowing is much of this lumpen lark. There is some intermittently raw and funny sexual comedy, mainly fluctuating around the premise that the wife is suffering a "bout of nymphomania" while the husband has been impotent for years. When that hilarity shrivels, there's further attempts at comedy: a bear that dances around and acts like a human, as well as a trio of monks who harmonize in the soupy style of '60s novelty singer Sister Sourire.

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