Romantics Anonymous Review

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Sparks fly between the boss of a chocolate factory (Poelvoorde) and the gifted chocolate-maker (Carré) he hires, but their shyness soon stands in the path of romance.


A rom-com involving a couple bllighted by pathological shyness could either be deliciously dark or quirkily quaint. Yet Jean-Pierre Améris is never sure which option to take in this affable but arch confection. Isabelle Carré and Benoît Poelvoorde are splendidly matched as the gifted chocolate maker and the struggling factory owner who mistakenly hires her for his sales team. But they spend as much time in the company of her self-help group and his shrink as they do together, with the result that contrivance and inconsequence seep between standout scenes in which Carré has to croon 'I Have Confidence' from The Sound Of Music and the perspiring Poelvoorde has to keep changing his shirt during their first date. The script is witty, the performances skilled, but the situation is cloying.

Charming but uneven, director Améris's film doesn't know whether to make us laugh or cry, and ends up doing neither. Still, a smart script offers plenty to keep incurable romantics happy.