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aka - 2 Automnes 3 Hivers
France 2013
Directed by
S├ębastien Betbeder
91 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

2 Autumns, 3 Winters

Synopsis:  When Arman (Vincent Macaigne) met Amélie (Maud Wyler).

2 Autumns, 3 Winters is a likeable and slightly quirky rom-com in the French style. Likeable because instead of your usual beautiful people you have, if not exactly ugly ducklings, then a fairly average-looking pair of stiffs negotiating the murky waters of love, and quirky because the characters periodically break from the narrative flow to address the audience directly and reflect on how things came to pass, for better or worse, as they tell the story of how they came to be a couple.

The principal character is Arman, a one-time art student now squandering his days in a series of dead-end jobs and losing his hair, the remainder of which is coiffed into some kind of straggling mullet. Having arrived at the age of 33 he has resolved to change his life. And so he meets Amélie, accidentally bumping into her while they arre both jogging. Their relationship actually gets started however when Arman gets stabbed while trying to save Amélie from being raped.

This might sound a little off-colour but Betbeder makes the scene absurd rather than heroic and that is very much the tone of the whole film. It riffs along nicely in that tragic-comical way that will invariably be referred back to  Woody Allen, whom of course the French love.  There aren’t the prolific one-liners to be had but Arman’s self-deprecating patter is consistently amusing and pepping up proceedings Betbeder throws in other devices such as Arman’s telepathic sister Lucie (Pauline Etienne) who appears to him in disembodied form.

There are various references such as those to Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy which will probably lose some of their comedic value when taken out of context but overall 2 Autumns, 3 Winters should prove to be a pleasant enough dalliance for those looking for a quality date movie or who simply like this kind of  human comedy thing.




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