The New Girlfriend

Art & Culture

Director Francois Ozon is not someone who hangs around. Since 2000 he has directed 13 features and a couple of shorts. This means (inevitably) a sacrifice of quality for quantity; none of his films are what you might call great, and some are downright mediocre. This new film is enjoyable enough in a fluffy way, but hardly enhances his reputation further. Not as bad as Potiche, not as good as Under The Sand.

Romain Duris plays a married man called David, with regulation wife and baby. They are best friends with another couple, and Claire is especially close to them. When David's wife dies, everyone is devastated, but Claire is increasingly worried by David's reluctance to see her. Until she discovers his secret, which is only surprising if you haven't seen Some Like It Hot.

This leads to further complications, misunderstandings and a certain amount of (inevitable) romantic trouble. It's all pleasant enough, but unmemorable. Most of it has slipped from my mind just a couple of months after seeing it. Romain Duris is good, though I'm never convinced that comedy is his forte, and you wouldn't fault the rest of the cast. But there's really nothing substantial to connect to. The film is so concerned to be light and mildly risque that it forgets to develop any interesting or significant relationship. It's all on the surface. 

Nothing to recommend it, unless you want an undemanding afternoon at the cinema with subtitles and cross dressing.



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