Apres Vous

Antoine (Daniel Auteuil, The Closet, The Widow of St. Pierre) saves Louis (Jose Garcia, Laughter and Punishment, Blanche), setting off a comedy of errors in Apres Vous, a light but slightly overlong French confection. Antoine is the type of guy that will do anything he can to help the people around him, much to the detriment of his own life. Auteuil is a versatile actor who can do pretty much everything, and it's great seeing him in a comedy, even one as fluffy as Apres Vous. Antoine is currently dating Christine (Maryline Canto, Saltimbank, Women or Children First), but the relationship his on the rocks. He just does not seem to put much effort into it, and other things constantly distract him.

Especially Louis. Christine wants to spend some time alone with Antoine, but Antoine invites Louis in to stay with him. Louis is distraught over the ending of a relationship, and is initially too broken up for words. He mopes and acts like a zombie, and Antoine does whatever he can do cheer him up. Eventually, Antoine gives Louis a job as a sommelier in his restaurant (Louis is in no way qualified) and decides it will be his mission to reunite Louis with is ex-girlfriend. A little digging about reveals that Louis' ex, Blanche (Sandrine Kiberlain, Only Girls, Alias Betty) works in a nearby flower shop, and goes about trying to feel out her current situation.

Of course, things will not go as planned. Louis is horrible in the restaurant, and follows Antoine around like a puppy dog. Worse, Antoine discovers that Blanche is engaged, and later, expectedly, he falls for Blanche. Apres Vous was written by Benoit Graffin (Beach Cafe, Le New Yorker), David Leotard, and director Pierre Salvadori (The Sandmen, Le Detour) based on an idea by Daniele Dubroux (Midnight Exam, White Lies). Apres Vous works because Salvadori manages to keep things light and silly. Yes there are some serious things going on, but that never gets in the way of the story.

There is also no straight man. Both Antoine and Louis play buffoons. The real straight man is in fact, a woman (Kiberlain). And Salvadori muddles the water a bit by giving both Antoine and Louis good and bad qualities. It makes people want to root for both at different times. Antoine is a genuinely nice guy, but a bit obtuse. Louis is also a nice guy, but an emotional leech. The humor never feels too forced, and never becomes too silly.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
1 hour, 50 minutes, French with English subtitles, Rated R for language.

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