Title: 20 Ans d’écart (It Boy)
Director: David Moreau
Starring: Virginie Efira, Pierre Niney, Gilles Cohen, Charles Berling.
In a time when women who date younger men are the new cool, David Moreau’s cougar comedy is extremely timely.
Alice Lantins (Virginie Efira) is 38 years old. She is beautiful, ambitious, and impeccably professional: she has everything to become the next editor-in-chief of Rebelle magazine. Everything except for her bourgeois uptight image. But when the young and charming Balthazar (Pierre Niney), barely 20 years old, crosses Alice’s path, her colleagues’ attitude inexplicably changes. Realising that the she holds the key to her promotion, Alice stages the comedy of an improbable idyll to solve her career conundrum.
The writer-director of ‘The Eye’, David Moreau, has picked a screen couple that releases great chemistry. Virginie Efira delivers a natural performance of a multifaceted contemporary woman, torn by her duties, her ambition and her feelings. Pierre Niney, besides being the glamorous French version of Adrien Brody, is a pure thoroughbred stage creature of the prestigious Comédie-Française.
The snappy script, written by Moreau, Efira and Amro Hamzawi, fits the mould of many narratives with the trademark guy-meets-girl, guy-loses-girl, guy-gets-girl-back. Nevertheless the narration is unilateral, since it’s told primarily by a woman who is nearly two decades older (the French title translates to “20-year difference”) than her object of affection. The age issue, as much as it draws a few laughs, is ultimately handled in mostly perfunctory ways and overall the plot is filled with a variety of quid pro quos, colourful side characters and rapid-fire gags.
The story may well be a contemporary M.I.L.F. feuilleton, but somehow the cinematographic fotonovela drifts to a land of delightful romance. David Moreau’s handling of the camera initially gives a noxious feeling, but as emotions take over, the evanescent fleeting images and sentiments flit across the mental sky, shaped and tinted with capricious fancy.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi