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Film review: 'Delicacy' an enjoyable romantic treat

Beautiful woman, powerless, unattractive guy — just like real life, right?

April 06, 2012|By Katherine Tulich

It’s funny the little things you notice when watching “Delicacy,” opening this week at the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena. Like the fact that Parisian pixie Audrey Tatou wears the same shoes and often the same outfit in many scenes. But after all, she is an office worker, so it makes sense she hasn’t popped into Chanel for a fresh outfit every day. It’s a reality check that’s been scrubbed over so many times in a glossy well groomed Hollywood format that it’s strangely fixating.

It’s these charming deviations that flavor this French romantic film with an appealing aperitif to an otherwise well worn tale of the beauty and the beast she falls in love with. With her big soulful eyes and quirky girl charm, Tatou (of “Amelie” fame) is always a riveting presence on screen, even when her role seems out of kilter.

In “Delicacy” she plays Nathalie, who at first seems to have a perfectly planned life — a handsome and exciting husband she adores, and a path paved up the corporate ladder at work. Impending doom is bound to be around the corner, and not hard to predict, as her husband runs out the door for a daily jog with a wistful “see you later.” No surprise to the audience when he doesn’t make it back and Nathalie is plunged into grief, burying herself in work to escape.

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Three years pass and she is a successful business woman isolating herself from any personal relationships. She swiftly dismisses the advances of her Lothario boss, but then in an odd move (perhaps to prove to herself she is not totally devoid of connection) kisses an unsuspecting co-worker, who leaves her office stunned but also invigorated by the possibility of attaining someone so unattainable.

Markus (played by French comedian Francois Damiens) is paunchy, balding, has bad teeth and wears ill-fitting bad sweaters, and worse still he is Swedish (which seems to make him even more of an outcast in the office). No one would suspect he could possibly melt the heart of this perfectly porcelain ice queen.

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