CHANGE OF ADDRESS
New to Paris and looking for accommodation, French hornist David (Emmanuel Mouret) is approached in the street by Anne (Frederique Bel), and invited to inspect a share apartment for friend - which turns out to be herself. She seems attracted to David but she tells him she has a boyfriend. David starts tutoring the shy and silent Julia (Fanny Valette), daughter of bourgeoisie mum (Ariane Ascaride), and tells Anne he's smitten. But as they exchange romantic confidances, they end up sleeping together, only to quickly apologise next morning. Anne even offers to help David woo Julia, starting with a weekend at her mum's shack by the beach, where a chance meeting with restaurateur Julien (Dany Brillant) sets off a new round of romantic complications.
Review by Louise Keller:
Fortunes in love change as often as the notes in a melody in Change of Address, a delightful romantic comedy that is as playful as it is amusing. The humour comes from the unexpected juxtaposition of circumstances and emotions, with laughs bubbling gently and naturally in a spontaneous crescendo.
Performances from Emmanuel Mouret and Frédérique Bel, the two central characters immediately engage. When we first meet shy French horn teacher David (Emmanuel Mouret), he is like an instrument searching for an orchestra in which to play. Then along comes Anne (Frédérique Bel), who draws an emotional question mark in the indirect way she goes about finding herself a roommate.
The misunderstandings and misadventures that ensue as David and Anne both meet and pursue their respective loves is a road filled with mountains and valleys in which there are spontaneous and hilarious moments. Anne is not shy about anything - except her budding relationship with Gabriel, who photocopies in her shop (and we never meet on screen). David is smitten by his young student Julia (Fanny Valette), but is less than secure about her feelings. Then along comes Julian (Dany Brillant) and the love merry-go-round starts to turn. There are endearing, love-lorn moments as Anne and David console each other with disarming intimacies. She leans her head on his shoulder and dreams about Gabriel, while he gently rests his head on hers, with Julia in his mind's eye.
The comedy of errors reaches its hilarious climax as fortunes change and love plays musical chairs. Ah yes, indeed. Love plays a tango as its participants change address. Charming and funny, this is a sparkling feel-good film that dances its way into our hearts.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
An inventive romantic comedy that refreshes the tastebuds for the genre is a welcome change of cinematic address, and this film is clearly one of those - which is why the French Directors Guild selected it for their Cannes Fortnight (2006). Instead of settling for a love triangle, Emmanuel Mouret creates new layers of entanglement opportunities with a four way adventure into new romance.
Performances are beautifully judged, with minimal exaggeration for the laughs to flow naturally. Characterisation is the key, and Mouret himself as Daniel - with the slightly hangdog face - plays into the character's insecurities as a way of stumbling about in the world of romance.
The two women, Frédérique Bel as Anne and Fanny Valette as Julia, are total contrasts; Anne is talkative and manipulative (in a nice way) while Julia is still, silent and on the verge of withdrawn. The changes to these women are the most satisfying aspect of character development, and as the unpredictable events bring the second male into this rigorous equation, the entertainment value goes up.
Well directed, too, Change of Address has a delicate energy and as the story speeds up - first by three months, then three days and finally three hours - so do our expectations. And they're satisfied.
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EMMANUEL MOURET INTERVIEW
CHANGE OF ADDRESS (PG)
CAST: Emmanuel Mouret, Frederique Bel, Fanny Valette, Dany Brillant, Ariane Ascaride, Claire Brenaux, Clement Delmas, Magali Leroy, Jerome Flaum, Frederic Niedermayer
PRODUCER: Frederic Niedermayer
DIRECTOR: Emmanuel Mouret
SCRIPT: Emmanuel Mouret
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Laurent Desmet
EDITOR: Martial Salomon
MUSIC: Franck Sforza
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Faivre
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sharmill Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 28, 2007; Special advance screenings June 22, 23, 24, 2007