Anaïs in Love
Stars: Anaïs Demoustier, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Denis Podalydès, Jean-Charles Clichet
This mildly diverting, self-consciously sophisticated sex comedy drama about a scatty thirty-year-old French woman struggling with life choices and romance, feels like a cross between Joachim Trier’s recent ‘The Worst Person in the World’ and 2017’s underseen and underrated comedy ‘Jeune Femme’. We are introduced to Demoustier’s titular figure as she is trying to deal with a landlord who has turned up to collect the two months’ rent arrears. An oversharer, Anaïs confides in her landlord details of her love life, all the while getting dressed to go out for a party. After breaking up with her partner, and casually revealing she is pregnant and having an abortion, Anaïs embarks on an affair with the much older publisher Daniel (Podalydès). When she realizes that has no future, she becomes fixated with Daniel’s wife, Emilie (Bruni-Tedeschi) a brilliant fiftysomething writer. Mileage may vary for viewers as to whether they think Anaïs is a relatable figure or a selfish solipsist. Bruni-Tedeschi delivers a disarmingly soulful performance as Emilie, whose giddiness with this blossoming affair is tempered with experience, while Podalydès delivers what is likely to be the best comedy double-take of the year. The picturesque golden-hued photography and jaunty classical score add to the air of contrived Gallic refinement.