3 Hearts

3 Hearts

Original title: 3 coeurs

Most French films contain moments that seem like parodies of French films. But this awful release, bizarrely chosen as the press preview film for the French Film Festival, is meant to be taken seriously. I think.

The premise is fine. Tax inspector Marc misses the last train out of a provincial town, and ends up wandering the streets with a stranger called Sylvie and her neuroses, despite his plain looks and cringe-worthy pick-up lines.

They arrange to meet later in Paris, but that doesn’t happen. He returns to track her down (having no contact details, of course) but instead meets Sophie, a woman with both neuroses and tax problems. So he marries her, even after finding out she’s Sylvie’s sister.

He doesn’t reveal this connection to Sophie, of course. In fact no-one does much meaningful communication. Catherine Deneuve spends the entire film eating. Sylvie is always smoking, drinking or announcing that she’s going to bed. Every now and then, Jaws-like dramatic chords burst out from the soundtrack, foreshadowing drama that never arrives. (The audience eventually started laughing at these moments.)

It’s almost bad enough to be funny. But not quite. 2/10

Released March 5, 2015 as part of the Sydney French Film Festival, March 3-22 (see http://www.afsydney.com.au)

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