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MA FEMME EST UNE ACTRICE

Writer/director Yvan Attal is like Woody Allen without the wit, hypochondria, or atheism. A Jewish auteur with major insecurities, he stars in semi-autobiographical comedies with beautiful leading ladies. Yet there are a few reasons to see this film. One is his gorgeous and gracious real-life wife, Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays the title actress, Charlotte, opposite Attal, who plays her spouse, a sportswriter named Yvan. The self-reflexivity informs Gainsbourg’s honest performance but never really enters the consciousness of the film. Instead, the plot is straight romantic comedy: Charlotte lands a leading film role as the romantic interest of aging heartthrob John (Terence Stamp), but the marriage turns rocky when Yvan questions her fidelity and turns into an overprotective stage mom. Highlights are Noémie Lvovsky’s César-nominated performance as Yvan’s pregnant sister and Brad Mehldau’s jazz score. But the real reason to watch is the Allen-esque scene that sends Yvan off the deep end: Charlotte refuses to do a nude love scene unless the whole crew gets naked as well. If nothing else, this film teaches us to be careful what we wish for. In French with English subtitles. (95 minutes)

BY TOM ISLER

Issue Date: July 18 - 25, 2002
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