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The Housekeeper (2003)

tomatometer

77

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 14

Nuanced performances and an understated tone make The Housekeeper transcend its familiar premise.

91

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 2

Nuanced performances and an understated tone make The Housekeeper transcend its familiar premise.

audience

43

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 210

My Rating

Movie Info

One of France's most respected filmmakers, Claude Berri here brings viewers the story of Jacques (Jean-Pierre Bacri) a middle-aged sound engineer whose wife has just left him. Living on his own for the first time in years, Jacques decides it's high time to clean up his life, literally and figuratively. In short order he hires Laura (Emilie Dequenne, a bright, vivacious young housekeeper, to bring order to his apartment. Laura's presence makes Jacques realize what has been missing from his life,

R,

Drama, Romance, Art House & International, Comedy

Claude Berri

Nov 11, 2003

$0.2M

Palm Pictures

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Cast

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All Critics (65) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (14) | DVD (4)

Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton make the life of a middle-aged single person look highly desirable. The Housekeeper doesn't deal in such delusions.

December 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

None of this is profoundly new, but the delicacy of the telling is well worth the experience.

December 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With their reverse-chemistry, [Bacri and Dequenne are] so good together -- hot and hilarious simultaneously -- that you'd think they'd been a team for ages.

November 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a slight film, well-acted by Bacri and Emilie Dequenne.

September 18, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An acutely observed (and felt) essay on loneliness.

August 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like Chabrol reconfigured into a mildly droll midlife-crisis tease.

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I wouldn't want this Housekeeper around my house, but your mileage may vary.

April 23, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

...possesses a shrewd understanding of the way human beings crave and pursue affection.

January 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Dequenne fills the free-spirited role of Laura adequately enough. But there's precious little chemistry or understanding as to why she's attracted to Jacques...

May 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

...a refreshing alternative to the myriad of overcranked stories churned out by Hollywood.

December 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's as if it's being told to you by a distracted middle-aged narrator who's looking at a beautiful college girl out of the corner of his eye.

December 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Sells sex like how ice cream is hawked on a hot July day at the beach.

December 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A lovely film about sadness and mess, both inside and out, and how we are able to make ourselves feel better - temporarily

November 16, 2003 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Both Bacri and Dequenne are surprisingly effective in their performances and manage to sell us on their chemistry.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Bacri and Dequenne fill out their underwritten roles, giving this small, unassuming story a few sparks.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Berri makes very personal works about men who learn something about themselves rather late in life -- something important -- and The Housekeeper continues to analyze this very worthy theme.

October 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Inexplicably large chunks of the movie are dedicated to Jacques smoking cigarettes, reading books, listening to jazz and looking pensive. What are we supposed to do with that?

October 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Continually has you expecting... the predictable worst, but Berri manages to keep the tables turned on his female lead, and his audience, turning a fairly flimsy storyline into an enjoyable film in the process.

October 6, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
Oz
eFilmCritic.com

Transforms a stock male-fantasy situation into something tender and believable...

September 8, 2003
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

A modest, at times downright tiny, film. Yet its melancholy sense of humor touched me in unexpected ways.

August 20, 2003
Philadelphia Weekly

It strains credulity that these two would get together, and even though the couple's incompatibility is a key point of the story, that fact makes it impossible to invest in the relationship or have any sympathy for the characters.

August 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

Audience Reviews for The Housekeeper

It is similar to the House Sitter, nothing special.
December 12, 2009
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

A sweet bit of fluff. Very entertaining. May not be great movie making, but the characters are fully believable and the story progresses smoothly. Bittersweet ending may be a comment on the inevitable breakup of such May-December romances. Solid cast, beautiful scenery, minimal dialogue. Very entertaining, but not designed for thoughtful dissection or introspection. Enjoy this on a warm summers day, or even better, in the depth of winter. Enjoy it for what it is: a real trip to the beach, in more ways than one.
October 4, 2008
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

Nice decent tale of a middle age man meeting and having a relationship with a much younger, very pretty woman. A bit slow in spots, but pretty wistful by film's end. Small story told well.
January 25, 2010
alanjayh
alan jay

Super Reviewer

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