L' Appartement Review

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Max is on his way to Tokyo. He lives in Paris and likes to flirt but has decided to get married. By chance, he seems to have seen Lisa, his greatest love, in a cafe. Max forgets everything, his trip to Tokyo and his fiance. Obsessed with meeting Lisa he finds out where she lives and hides in the apartment. However, it's a different girl, called Alice.


Cassel follows up his powerhouse performance in La Haine with this unextraordinary effort. There we knew exactly what made his character tick. Sadly, this is far from the case in this first-time effort from writer/director Mimouni. Max (Cassel) is due to marry the reliable and loyal Muriel (Sandrine Kiberlain).

But two months before the big day he thinks he spots ex-lover Lisa (Bellucci) in a phone box. Missing her by moments, he vows to track Lisa down to discover why she ran out on him two years ago. Soon Max is chasing clues all over Paris (all seemingly left by the mysterious beauty) until he finally winds up breaking into her apartment.

This is where he meets the overwhelming and very willing Alice (Bohrmger) and when his life becomes even more confusing. Bohringer and Bellucci are very able visions, but more importantly both relish the fact that at least their red herrings and ridiculous coincidences characters have some depth.

The script is clever and the second half of the film is a treat, the unexpected happens and the pace picks up. But to the film's detriment, Mimouni seems too concerned with flashbacks, red herrings and twists in the tale to be worried about well-rounded characters.

Although the plot structure is a welcome one, there are still many ridiculous coincidences and a frustratingly ambiguous ending, which make it difficult to give the movie, however carefully constructed, the kudos it is crying out for.