Image for Window to Togatus (6): Beautiful Lies

This French comedy starring Audrey Tautou, Sami Bouajila and Nathalie Bayewill leave you feeling quite chipper indeed. Emilie (Tautou) owns a small hair salon where Jean (Sami Bouajila) works as a handyman. Jean pines for Emilie from afar, but paralysed by his own shyness, he decides to send her an anonymous letter. Emilie, visibly unaffected by the love letter, tosses it into the bin. A series of events unfold and the letter ends up being delivered to Emilie’s mother Maddy (Baye), who is both susceptible and love-deprived after separating from her husband.

The film is basically a series of awkward, quite hilarious situations involving Emilie, Jean and Emilie’s mother. Tautou’s character is, as Jean wrote in his love letter: ‘beautiful, perplexing, never disappointing’. She is also a high maintenance bitch. As Tautou herself mentioned in a recent interview ‘…I like it when the character is very close to being hated’. Bouajila is not as handsome as one would have hoped, yet plays the shy, intellectual guy very well. Nathalie Baye’s character Maddy is intense, ridiculous and slightly manic. Unfortunately, the idea of a single, older woman “aching” for a man is a touch cliché and makes me cringe a little.

The story is simple yet unexpected. The setting is Frenchy, sunny goodness – with interesting canals, patisseries and leafy streets. I spent quite a lot of the film simply enjoying Tautou’s clothing, especially her shiny patent shoes that encase such nice feet. There were men and women in the audience when I was watching and both were chuckling away – one woman perhaps more so than others – but that’s what you get after three glasses of house red.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars. If Jean had been slightly hotter, I may have boosted it to a 3.5.