Apres Vous (After You).

French language with English subtitles. Starring Daniel Auteuil, Jose Garcia and Sandrine Kiberlain. Directed by Pierre Salvadori.
Running Time: 110 mins.
Rated: Rated M
Antoine (Auteuil) is the maitre d' at a chic Parisian bistro. One night, while rushing home to have dinner with his girlfriend Christine (Maryline Canto) he takes a shortcut through a park. There he discovers Louis trying to commit suicide. He saves him, takes him home and becomes helplessly co-dependent in Louis' world. Antoine finds out that Louis' depression is because of his failed romance with Blanche (Kiberlain). Antoine helps Louis win her back, and in the process falls in love with her himself.

Apres Vous is the classical role-reversal story. It has some fine comic moments and pleasing performances.

The only drawback to Apres Vous is that it's far too long, for no obvious reason. The material is slight, the three main characters are given plenty of time to develop, but the complexity of the plot goes on and on.

As a result, this film loses its punch comically and dramatically.

Furthermore, Camille Bazbaz continues the long and strange French film tradition of composing repetitive music motifs that reappear with annoying regularity throughout the film. Frustratingly, Apres Vous excels in this department.

The film is nicely shot, looks great and has mouth-watering images of food, but unfortunately these pluses don't make up for the ponderous lacks therein.

Fr Richard Leonard is director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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