This undemanding and fairly rote but nonetheless breezy French odd couple comedy drama is elevated by its central performances. ‘Call My Agent’s’ Grégory Montel is Guillaume, a luckless chauffeur perilously close to losing his driving licence and in the throes of a divorce, desperately trying to scrape some money together for a decent apartment so his ten-year-daughter can come stay with him. His latest assignment is Anne Walberg (Devos), a posh perfumer turned ‘fragrance adviser’ for less prestigious projects, after an unspecified past incident. Aloof and torturously exacting in her instructions, Anne treats Guillaume more like a skivvy than a driver, but as time passes, inevitably, the become closer, and he becomes her confidante.
While it’s refreshing the film doesn’t take the well-worn romantic route, the plot trajectory remains pretty predicable. Devos who always gives good enigmatic, imbues Anne with a touching combination of iciness and dejectedness, while Montel locates the affable sweet spot between hangdog and puppyish enthusiasm. A couple of random factoids about fragrances come as a bonus.
Perfumes is in the better cinemas and available to view on Curzon Home Cinema now.
David Willoughby @DWill_Crackfilm