Huppert plays Lola, our leading lady who is in an unhappy relationship with her long term lover, David (Giraudeau), a work obsessed architect. While Lola embarks on an affair with married musician Tom (Girardot), David deals with his demanding ex-wife, secretary and kids.
So thin is the line writer-director Diane Kurys draws between pathos and farce in this contemporary, acid comic drama of love, deceit and the pursuit of fulfilment that one is seldom confident of an appropriate response.
Pale, pensive and difficult to warm to, Parisienne novelist Lola, an apparently successful, creative, childless-by-choice thirty-something, is two-timing her long-time partner David for married songwriter-musician Tom. David, who surely unintentionally scores higher on the sympathy scale than Lola with her writer's block and complaint "Why does love make women weak?", is a workaholic architect beset by an ex-wife given to hysteria, kids, a discontented brother and a manipulative secretary whose audacious manoeuvrings are more interesting than anything else going on. Tom, meanwhile, is a self-absorbed prat who really needs the mothering of his frustrated wife (Laure Killing).
Around the central trio the demands, reproaches and ploys of family, friends and lovers past and present recall Woody Allen, with touches of the acuity but almost none of the laughs. It is sophisticated nobody ever makes love lying down but soured by the evident conviction that relationships all require a surrender of the individual, and are still doomed. Even more aggravating is Kurys' saving the last laugh to be on poor old Lola, with her professed allegiance to self and art all undone by hormones.
Although Huppert remains as convincing and as watch able as ever, the script does her little favors and leaves us with little feelings for any of the main characters. Funny in parts yet also poignant, it convinces as neither a comedy nor a drama.