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FLY ME TO THE MOON

SYNOPSIS:
In the Lefebvre family, all the first marriages end in failure. To 30-year-old Isabelle (Diane Kruger), it doesn't matter if it's a real curse or a stupid belief. She is in a long-term relationship (plus a shared dental practice) with 43 year old Pierre (Robert Plagnol), and she wants to be on the safe side; marrying the love of her life at the risk of losing him is out of the question. There is only one solution: she has to find a first husband. Anyone will do, even perhaps travel guide Jean-Yves (Dany Boon) who she meets at the airport.

Review by Louise Keller:
It is ironic that for a film that champions spontaneity, its main flaw is the lack of it, or to be precise, it plays like a series of skits that aims for cheap laughs. But having said that, the combination of the irrepressible Dany Boon and lovely Diane Kruger is often enough to charm us into submission as we are offered some delicious moments.

There's a swimming pool mishap in Copenhagen, a meal of goat eyeballs in Nairobi, a face-off with a lion in Kilimanjaro, Cossack dancing in Moscow and an over-the-top scene in a Paris dentist surgery that you will remember next time you are in the dentist's chair. The scene that inspires the film's (English) title is a surprise. Wait for it. Pascal Chaumeil's last romantic comedy Heartbreakers (2010) with Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis also faced the credibility challenge but here there is some fun to be had with Boon and Kruger, even if we don't believe any of it.

The screenplay by Laurent Zeitoun and Yoann Gromb is clunky in that the main book-ended narrative is rather dull. There is a pay-off, but patience is required at the start when we meet a family during Christmas dinner as they recount a story that may offer solace to a heartbroken, snivelling young woman recovering from a broken marriage. The film's premise relies on the fact that all first marriages in the family fail and that Isabelle (Kruger) will go to great lengths to avoid failure in her long-time relationship with Pierre (Robert Plagnol). Theirs is a perfectly planned, predictable life and one that ticks along like clockwork. Even love-making is scheduled. Isabelle does not seem to mind this life of predictability - until she gets a taste of the unpredictable, that is.

So things brighten up as soon as Isabelle meets Jean-Yves (Boon) on a flight to Copenhagen, where Isabelle intends to marry a stranger before divorcing him, to guarantee her union with Pierre will not be her first. Jean-Yves and Isabelle take turns at being obnoxious before Isabelle recognises that the wild-card tour-guide with the Dictaphone who lives life without a rule book might be useful after all for a marriage of convenience. It gets rather ridiculous as the film does an about turn and becomes another version of How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, when Isabelle behaves despicably (substituting depilatory cream for shampoo, for example).

The story reverts to the Christmas dinner scenario once too often and although there is little sexual chemistry between Boon and Kruger, there is a joie de vivre about their exploits, bringing some crazy, sweet and bizarre moments. AC/DC's Highway to Hell gets an airing at precisely the right moment.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Occasionally un peux over le top, Fly Me To The Moon is nonetheless a charming and textured romantic comedy that takes us from the Masai to Moscow in its love chase. The story is a neat idea, and it's told over family Christmas dinner in Paris, to a young woman who is heartbroken over her break up. It wouldn't have worked anyway, they tell her, thanks to the family curse on first marriages. Did you hear about Isabelle ....?

Isabelle (Diane Kruger) had been going very steady with handsome dentist Pierre (Robert Plagnol), but was alerted to the curse and took evasive action - except it didn't turn out as planned, of course. Kruger is great, with a strong comedic sense, and she makes a strong foil for the foibles of Dany Boon, one of France's most successful comic actors, as tour guide Jean-Yves.

They are strangers on a plane, then travelling companions, as Isa pretends to be falling in love with the bachelor travel guide. Things deteriorate when she tries too hard to manipulate his feelings, but this is where we have most fun, needless to say.

Jean-Yves' job gives them - and us - several adventures, ranging from an encounter with a lion to weightlessness aboard a huge Russian airliner, as well as the Masai wedding ceremonies.

A clever but predictable screenplay and lively performances are well wrangled by director Pascal Chaumeil, even if the whole thing plays like a long TV sitcom.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 2

FLY ME TO THE MOON (M)
(France, 2012)

Un plan parfait

CAST: Diane Kruger, Dany Boon, Robert Plagnol, Alice Pol, Jonathan Cohen, Bernadette le Saché, Etienne Chicot

PRODUCER: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou

DIRECTOR: Pascal Chaumeil

SCRIPT: Laurent Zeitoun, Yoann Gromb

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Glynn Speeckaert

EDITOR: Dorian Rigal-Ansous

MUSIC: Klaus Badelt

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hervé Gallet

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 2013







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