Directed by: Emmanuel Mouret | 100 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Virginie Ledoyen, Emmanuel Mouret, Julie Gayet, Michaël Cohen, Frédérique Bel, Stefano Accorsi, Mélanie Maudran, Marie Madinier, Lucciana de Vogüe, Jacques Lafoly
“You must remember this: A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply, As time goes by “. Well-known words from the song of the same name. Also in this film a kiss is not just a kiss. The consequences of “the” kiss stretch far in this romantic comedy. A kiss is more than just a kiss here.
The film starts in Nantes where Gabriel (played by Michael Cohen) happens to meet Émilie (Julie Gayet). She looks for a taxi and he offers her a lift and takes her to her hotel. On the way they get into conversation. The two of them click and Gabriel offers her dinner. Both have a partner. At the end of that dinner, Émilie declines a simple goodbye kiss. She explains her rejection in a narrative form.
Émilie tells a story that shows that a single kiss can have a profound effect on your entire life. Émilie initially tells that story in the hotel bar, but as time goes on and the bar closes, she continues the story in her hotel room. The storyline then takes place alternately between the people that the story is about, Nicolas and Judith, and Émilie and Gabriel in the hotel room.
Émilie talks about old friends Nicolas Gimas (played by Emmanuel Mouret) and Judith (Virginie Ledoyen). Judith is married to Claudio (Stefano Accorsi), a pharmacist from a wealthy family. Judith and Nicolas are very good old friends who can tell each other anything. At one point, Nicolas confesses to Judith that in his relationships with women he actually lacks any physical tension. Judith suggests that he visit a prostitute to solve this problem, but he has already done so – that same day – without success to find a solution to his problem.
Ultimately, Judith decides to help her best friend. Filmed in an extremely sensitive manner, images are sublime and intimately told of how Nicolas explores Judith’s body. The tension of those feelings between these two persons is built up both subtly and humorously.
The relationship between Judith and Nicolas continues to develop, further developments in the story are left out here. History develops more or less as a story within a story, constantly looking in a mirror, as it were. The final plot is certainly not predictable.
“Un baiser, s’il vous plaît” is a comedy full of subtle humor and told in a slow and careful way. It is a typical French film with many dialogues that sometimes have a somewhat philosophical basis. These are a pleasure to follow. How can one live one’s desire and still protect the one who is being cheated? All kinds of strategies are devised to prevent a third character from suffering.
The music has an important supporting function. Mozart, Schubert and Tchaikovski can be heard continuously. This subtly ties in with the various actions of the characters. The acting of all actors is convincing. Emmanuel Mouret is not only a director, but also wrote the screenplay and also plays the role of Nicolas.
Intimate and warm, humorous and pleasantly slightly moralizing.