Not Here To Be Loved Review

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The old shy-guy-meets-girl-at-dance class story is given pleasingly subtle treatment in this French drama that involves, even if it doesn’t always fully convince


The surprisingly resilient sub-genre of loser-learns-dance-finds-lust-for-life movies gets a French entry with this muted tale of tango and an ageing bailiff. Ordered by his doctor to take more exercise, Jean-Claude (Patrick Chesnais) finally gets the courage to start participating in lessons at a nearby dance school, where the intoxicating rhythms wake him from a life of emotional detachment.

The plot follows this dance’s steps precisely, but the nuanced performances are a joy — Jean-Claude’s scenes with his father are heartbreaking and even the smallest characters are well drawn. While the ending is a little rushed, this is still worth a spin around the floor.

Cross-generational borderline friendships are all the rage this Winter, but Venus this ain't.