Film Review: Pardon My French (Un Chat Un Chat)

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Berlin International Film Festival -- Forum
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BERLIN -- Chiara Mastroianni gives her all in this silly French film about a young and hip Parisian writer who's suffering from writer's block, but she simply can't hold the camera as long and as intensely as either her mother or her father. She's drop-dead gorgeous, of course, but she seems somehow to lack their screen charisma.

The film itself strives for an ultra-ironic coolness that it never comes close to pulling off, hence commercial possibilities seem remote.

Nathalie (Mastroanni) is in her mid-30s, and she's juggling a writing career, a young son, an interfering mother, a hostile best friend and a boyfriend she's trying to break up with. To top it all off, she's being stalked by Anais, a precocious 17-year-old, who wants Nathalie to write about her life.

Interestingly, Agathe Bonitzer as Anais provides the film with more nervous energy than does Mastroianni. The real problem, though, is that the film is based on a series of comic vignettes that rely on an offbeat kind of intentionally dumb humor that just isn't very funny.