Combustible Celluloid
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With: Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Marie-Christine Adam, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jacques Spiesser, Annelise Hesme
Written by: Pierre Salvadori, Benoît Graffin
Directed by: Pierre Salvadori
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including nudity
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 104
Date: 11/18/2006

Priceless (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Return to Spender

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Audrey Tautou breaks out of her cute pixie phase and enters a new sex goddess phase; she plays Irène, a slinky, flirty gold-digger who searches for wealthy, elderly husbands in swanky hotels. She mistakes bartender Jean (Gad Elmaleh, with soulful blue eyes) for a potential catch. Thankfully director Pierre Salvadori and co-writer Benoît Graffin quickly drop the "mistaken identity" bit and Irene and Jean try to continue their friendship while each serving as arm candy for rich, aging members of the opposite sex. The film has a lot more grace than you'd expect; it's not frantic, but actually rather breezy. One or two scenes even venture close to Lubitsch territory. Overall it's a bit long and somewhat tortured toward the end, but very worthwhile.

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