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By Brent Davidson
25th February 2016

In a modern world of online dating, how often can one find themselves talking to someone they have only seen a couple of pictures of? Or even forming relationships over continents with someone they have never seen? All too often is probably the answer, but what if the person you were talking to was an (unfortunately) non-soundproofed wall away?

Machine (whosit/whatsit) is a classical pianist breaking away from an ambiguously oppressive piano tutor, moving into a relatively crappy apartment in Paris - thankfully it has enough room for her baby grand piano! Machin (whosit/whatsit) is a reclusive eccentric game inventor who enjoys peace and quiet while he works (which is always). What a conundrum they find themselves in! As always with close proximity and clashing personalities, they fall in love... But don't worry, definitely not a spoiler, it's super obvious.

Conspicuousness aside, what's great about this film is the implied back stories. Nothing is overly explained, but you know that both of these characters have come from a place of emotional pain and oppression, and in finding each other are released from that. It might be a credit to French cinema that these parts of their lives don't need explanation, just briefly mentioned to add some wonderfully subtle depth.

This is definitely a date night choice with enough quirk, charm and heart to keep everyone who sees it happy until the very end.

This subtlety doesn't really translate to the rest of the film; while very sweet, it follows a very formulaic romantic comedy - albeit a beautifully quirky one. The performances are all strong and the direction and writing is a little heavy-handed at times. Especially a certain orgasmic Chopin scene. Oh boy.

This is definitely a date night choice for this year's Alliance Française French Film Festival with enough quirk, charm and heart to keep everyone who sees it happy until the very end. Who doesn't love an uplifting rom-com?

RUN TIME: 1h 30m
CAST: Clovis Cornillac
Mélanie Bernier
Lilou Fogli
Philippe Duquesne
Grégoire Oestermann
Oscar Copp
Arnaud Lechien
Olivier Bouana
Rudy Milstein
Manu Payet
DIRECTOR: Clovis Cornillac
WRITERS: Lilou Fogli
Clovis Cornillac
Tristan Schulmann
Mathieu Oullion
Looking for more Alliance Française French Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
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