Review: Les amours d’Anaïs (2021)


es amours d’Anaïs (2021)

Directed by: Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet | 98 minutes | comedy, drama | Actors: Anaïs Demoustier, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Denis Podalydès, Jean-Charles Clichet, Xavier Guelfi, Christophe Montenez, Anne Canovas, Bruno Todeschini, Annie Mercier, Grégoire Oestermann, Marie-Armelle Deguy, Sabrina Delarue, Seong-Young Kim Cédric Le Roy, Patrick Perreaux, Grégory Servant, Eric Hervé, Christèle Guery

‘Les amours d’Anaïs’ begins with a young woman (Demoustier) who tries to evoke sympathy in the viewer. In the house she changes clothes, while she rants to an older roommate about failing in love. It looks a little too scripted. We can know Demoustier as the teenage Eva from Haneke’s ‘Le temps du loup’ (2003); she also played the lead role in the more recent Ozon snack ‘Une nouvelle amie’.

This film, then: love for the big city and a man in his thirties who is still single, understandable. But the fluttering of the post-pubescent Anaïs irritates like the choice stress of millennials. Maybe we’re getting old ourselves, who knows. This young woman doesn’t know it all and keeps running; not like Lola runs, but on the run from serious life choices. At the same time, we should like her.

Anaïs meets a new man. This Daniel (Podalydès) is married to the writer Emilie (Bruni Tedeschi). Extramarital love often creates a bond between the sexes, rien de nouveau; more than that: Anaïs has an above average fascination with the older Emilie – if only out of jealousy at first. As if fear of commitment wasn’t enough.

Daniel isn’t very good in bed, and apologizes by saying he’s never had a young mistress before. Anaïs lets everything slide off her in good spirits, and we still don’t like her, even though the makers want it so much. We may not be in the mood for clichés about ‘marriage à la mode Française’, but that must be even worse for French film buffs.

Maybe director Bourgeois-Tacquet wants us to find Anaïs annoying and she has plans for us. In the end, that turns out not to be the case. The encounters of Anaïs and Emilie also do not lift the film out of the flutter zone, it is an attempt; the acting is decent, but it still struggles with the depth in this summer dress amourette.