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aka - Gout Des Autres, Le
France 1999
Directed by
Agnès Jaoui
112 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

The Taste Of Others

The cleverly ambiguous title of this captivating romantic comedy for the mature-aged reflects the intelligence of its screenplay by husband-and-wife team Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri. Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars but beaten by Ang Lee’s more kinetic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon it was deservedly a box office hit in France.

Although in its latter stages it is prone to gratuitously state its moral, for the most part Le Goût Des Autres is a deftly drawn, light-hearted portrait of modern love marked by fine performances from the entire cast. Bacri is delightful as the wealthy middle-aged industrialist who is hit by Cupid’s bow. The object of his affection is Clara (Anne Alvaro) a spinsterish theatre actress and the industrialist’s English tutor. She spurns his advances but he works his way into her circle where he proceeds to make a buffoon of himself with his uncultured ways. Meanwhile his bodyguard, Frank Moreno (Gerard Lanvin), and chauffeur, Bruno (Alain Chabat) are having their own romantic woes, the former with Manie (Agnès Jaoui) who works in a bar that Clara’s arty friends frequent.

There’s plenty of other things going on but, to return to the title, the film engagingly and amusingly sketches the way in which the wheels of life are turned by our attraction to and repulsion from other people’s differences in whatever form they may come.




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