6.7/10
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Je vous trouve très beau (2005)

When farmer Aymé Pigrenet loses his wife, he is not exactly overwhelmed by sorrow, rather by the sheer amount of work that suddenly falls on his shoulders. In quest of a new spouse, he goes to Romania where he meets Elena.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aymé Pigrenet
Medeea Marinescu ...
Elena
...
Roland Blanchot
Benoît Turjman ...
Antoine
Éva Darlan ...
Mme Marais (as Eva Darlan)
Élisabeth Commelin ...
Françoise (as Elisabeth Commelin)
Valérie Bonneton ...
Maître Labaume
Julien Cafaro ...
Thierry
Valentin Traversi ...
Jean-Paul
Raphaël Dufour ...
Nicolas
Choukri Gabteni ...
Le patron du café
Agnès Boury ...
Huguette
Tadrina Hocking ...
Nicole
Nathalie Jouin ...
Sylvie
Renée Le Calm ...
La grand-mère
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Storyline

When farmer Aymé Pigrenet loses his wife, he is not exactly overwhelmed by sorrow, rather by the sheer amount of work that suddenly falls on his shoulders. Soon, he realizes he won't make it alone and he needs another companion to cope with it. But finding a new spouse is no simple task in his small rural town: Aymé turns to a matchmaker who quickly understands that he's not after a soul mate and advises him to go to Romania where young women will do anything to escape poverty. And indeed, it's in Romania that Aymé meets Elena... Written by JR Bouvier

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

11 January 2006 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ahava B'Kfar  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,497,592 (France), 13 January 2006
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Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France #111757. See more »


Soundtracks

Nocturne in E flat major D 897
Composed by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Within its deliberate simplicity, an efficient, almost fable-like, love story...
26 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

"Forget you don't stand a chance, and just go for it! Who knows, it might work out of a misunderstanding!"

This is Jean-Claude Dusse's seduction advice from French comedy classic "Les Bronzés Font du Ski" and it sounds like the kind of quotes Woody Allen would have delivered in one of his early zany comedies. And ever since his film debut with the 'Splendid' Troop, Michel Blanc has always been a sort of Woody Allen's counterpart, never quite lucky with women, even managing to get bullied and towered by Gérard Jugnot. So he kind of makes a point with this cynical yet well-exposed tactic. Michel Blanc, like Woody Allen, was never cut for the leading man roles: bald, at 5'5 and with rather average looks, but he had a prolific career nonetheless and great films in and behind the screen. Still, he wasn't really love-story material.

But his self-derision made him lovable with this self-consciousness that inhabit losers and make them such appealing characters and Blanc such an endearing actor, and the merit of "Je Vous Trouve Très Beau" is to have exploited the best facet of the actor, from the chuckle inducing title. It means, literally, "I find you very attractive", which is one of the French sentences Romanian girls learn in order to compliment their French soon-to-be husbands, but when you have a bitter and grouchy farmer looking like Ayme in front of you, it's hard not to make this sound awkward. Even Aymé is tired of hearing women telling him that he's good looking, and when one of them, named Elena (Medea Marinescu) says that he's not that handsome, well, he's vexed but at least, she seems sincere. The film was made at a time where Romania wasn't in the European Union so I might understand why they were eager to flee to the country of "Tour Eiffel", "Moulin Rouge"… although with Ayme, they were candidate for disappointments at first sight.

But Ayme doesn't make himself more likable or sexy, he's rather straightforward about his expectations, he doesn't need a wife but a help, not a body or a heart but hands, and from the way he's seen interacting with his wife, shortly before her death, it's obvious that Ayme never had anything worth someone's love, not the looks, not even the time. But it doesn't matter, Elena doesn't want the fairy tale, she needs money to open a dance school for her little girl. As a matter of fact, she's the closest to a dishonest character, but I wouldn't call her that, because she seems genuinely interested in making Ayme's life better and it's painful to see her attempts and the cute way she brings him food at midday being welcomed with anger. Of course, we know it's a matter of time before Ayme's heart is defrosted, but the situations are so touching and humanly pleasing that the film is better to be enjoyed without really caring for the plot.

Indeed, it's only when the story must move forward a little that it gets predictable or needlessly contrived. The film is the directorial debut of French comedienne Isabelle Mergault who was mostly known for being a guest in a TV show, and this is a role no one saw her coming and yet she made one of the most successful films of the year. I'm not surprised because as she said, she was so scared she prepared everything, she had her story set and when she came at the field, everything turned well. I wish she would have trusted her story enough to enrich it with a few subplots. For instance, Ayme never says Elena is his wife, and there's a blooming romance between her and a young farmer that could have lead somewhere. This is a film that is so confident in its simplicity that it almost affords to be surprisingly good at some parts; so good you wish it had tried a little more at others. Also, I felt like some pivotal moments were missing and compensated by needlessly overwritten scenes.

There's a moment where Elena puts on a sexy nightgown and waits for Ayme in the bed, but when he comes, he yells at her and calls her a whore, she slaps him and leaves the house. When he comes to her, he apologizes, but then goes to a long speech detailing how he's not angry with Elena but himself. Here I thought the film could have done without it, because the characters are well-written enough so we know the anger isn't directed to Elena, so this part said a lot about the directors' lack of confidence in her material. The irony is that some parts are underwritten, besides the courting young farmer, how about Ayme's friend? When he discovers the truth, I don't see why he doesn't confront Ayme in a straightforward way instead of playing riddles with him. It didn't seem consistent with the niceness of this character.

The film isn't very ambitious except in telling a good love story and it does, thanks to the actors' performances, it doesn't take many risks but at least, we feel satisfied at the end, and it is so touching it inspired one of the most enduring reality shows about farmers looking for the great love. One might think that this film has hit a sensitive chord, if it had influenced a reality program that made couples possible and families. Not bad for a directorial debut.


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