- Running time:
- 105 minutes
- Romain Duris -
- Alex Lippi
- Vanessa Paradis -
- Juliette Van Der Becq
- Julie Ferrier -
- François Damiens -
- Héléna Noguerra -
People hire Alex (Romain Duris) for a very unique task. He's a professional break-up artist—a master seducer specializing in women living in denial of their unhappy relationships. Along with his sister (Julie Ferrier) and her husband (François Damiens), Alex concocts love 'em and leave 'em scenarios designed to open his targets' hearts to the possibilities they're missing. But there's something a little different, a little more special, about his next mark, Juliette (Vanessa Paradis)—a headstrong heiress with a perfectly respectable British fiancé (Andrew Lincoln).
The buzz: A mainstream hit in France, "Heartbreaker" represents a modest departure for generally serious-minded Duris (star of "The Beat My Heart Skipped" and "Paris") and Paradis (an '80s teen pop star, occasional actress and longtime girlfriend of Johnny Depp). It's the feature film debut of Pascal Chaumeil, a TV and commercial director and frequent collaborator of Luc Besson. Universal already has the English-language remake rights, though the film was clearly conceived with an international audience in mind.
The verdict: It's almost reassuring to see a foreign film as formulaic, underdeveloped and intermittently amusing as the Hollywood norm. Reassuring, but hardly inspiring. Duris and Paradis dive whole-heartedly into the mindless, effervescent action, and Duris proves himself a good sport by joining in a gospel choir rehearsal, learning Patrick Swayze's "Dirty Dancing" moves and singing along to Wham! (Alex does whatever it takes to get the job done). But the emphasis on American pop culture, strict adherence to romantic comedy clichés and breathless direction from Chaumeil (complete with a tireless, charmless musical score) conspire to keep the characters, and the film, from establishing any kind of distinctive personalities. "Heartbreaker" labors to channel old fashioned Hollywood sophistication as unsuccessfully as any average 21st century rom-com, it just has subtitles and gorgeous Monaco locations to distract you along the way.
Did you know? Co-writer and co-producer Laurent Zeitoun graduated from business school and worked as a trader in New York, until a trip to Paramount studios in Los Angeles sparked his interest in screenwriting.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Heartbreaker in New York.
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