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Heartbreaker (L'Arnacoeur) Reviews

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Nicki M

Super Reviewer

May 20, 2013
Nice French rom com. Story was unusual, and the two leads had chemistry. Better than some American ones I have watched recently!
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

January 13, 2013
Pursued by creditors and helped by his married sister, a man is hired to break up a happy woman's wedding.
Stuck between screwball comedy that allows Alex to emerge unscathed from a high-speed collision with a car and honest romance that features Alex and Juliette staring longingly into the sunset, Heartbreaker is a mixed bag that is charming and funny when it's good and insufferably sophomoric when it's bad. Its understanding of relationships seems drawn from Cosmo articles as the film expects us to be that a few faked tears will destroy a relationship, but the stars, Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis, are able to make badly written scenes plausible.
Overall, I liked Heartbreaker in spite of itself.
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2011
Directed by Pascal Chaumeil, Quad Productions, 2010. Starring Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier and Andrew Lincoln.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Question: Ladies, this question goes out to you. What could a guy do that would make you fall in love with him? I know a hard question to answer. I have my thoughts but I am going to keep those to myself. However, I just watched a film called Heartbreaker (I know the title doesn't evoke much confidence in finding true love) and found that sometimes it's what we do that makes the guy fall in love with us first. When that happens, we allow the thought to be possible and then all bets are off. We fall and we fall hard!

Heartbreaker is a French film (L'arnacoeur). I know, not my typical movie genre, but I might have mentioned I am expanding my movie tastes. Plus, I am finding it easier to read subtitles and still see and enjoy the movie. There weren't any movies available at the time at the theatre yesterday that I wanted to see. I waited until the evening to check my Netflix Instant Play queue. Heartbreaker was on my list. It was recommended to me after I posted my last foreign film - Sarah's Key (a French film) so it was on my queue. I watched the preview - yes, I did - and I was intrigued. I remembered it was a comedy (and a romance) and I could really use a comedy these days so I hit PLAY.

So, here's the gist: Alex Lippi (played by Romain Duris) is a break-up artist. People hire him to find the doubt that is already there within a woman so she will break-up with her (usually deadbeat) boyfriend. His job is not to start dating or have them fall in love with him - just make them realize they are with the wrong person. The opening scene(s) showed dozens of women kissing this guy (break-up artist) who just happens to cry in front of them and tell them that they made him feel alive again. Voila! Break-up.

The rest of the film shows Alex and his team hired to break-up a relationship only 10 days before the wedding. Usually that is not enough time but they accept the challenge. Ok - no more details - you have to see it for yourselves. I will say once this part of the movie started I really enjoyed it. As I was watching this film (and reading) I discovered that I was smiling through a lot of it. Sometimes I was even giggling or doing whatever odd facial and hand movements I do when I can't believe I saw what I just saw. You know what I mean, right? Well, if not - just trust me there are some funny parts to Heartbreaker.

So, let's discuss the main actors: Romain Duris. This was my first movie of his but I have feeling it won't be my last. His performance was intriguing to say the least. Although I did not find him all that attractive he had a certain charm and sex-appeal. My focus sharpened whenever he was on screen - which was for the majority of this movie. When there were moments of tender thoughts I felt what he felt. There are only of few of those but he sucked me right in. On the flip-side - his comedic act was a treat to watch as well. Plus, there is one scene that I think those ladies who grew up in the 80's will enjoy - yes, I was one of them.

Juliette Van Der Becq (played by Vanessa Paradis) was the woman he was hired to show her the error of her ways. Some of you might recognize her; she is Johnny Depp's girlfriend. As with Romain Duris, this was my first time seeing her act as well. I may sound a little biased or heavy-handed here but I found her performance to be a bit on the weak side as compared to Romain Duris. She is supposed to be playing this damaged (although we don't know why she is damaged for most of the story), beautiful, wealthy women who is marrying what appears to be the perfect man. So, what's the problem? I know now but it took a while to get there.

So all-in-all I liked Heartbreaker. My first French comedy but I have feeling it won't be my last.

My favorite thing: The dance - I won't describe what that means but I loved it!

My least favorite thing: That I was jealous that it was filmed in Monaco..I so want to see that city.

Rating: Couldn't find a consistent rating but there is cursing and a little nudity.
Length: 105 Minutes

Rating: 7 out of 10
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

March 7, 2011
This was a fun movie, with a unique premise..which led to enjoyable (if at times predictable) story lines. The acting was very good. A little slapstick at times. Really good soundtrack, too. Just an all round nice chick flick.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

August 21, 2010
"Women in couples come in three categories: happy, knowingly unhappy, and unhappy without admitting it."

Heartbreaker is a breezy French romantic comedy about a suave man travels about, being paid by wealthy people to break up relationships or engagements between women and the men that they don't love or who are undeserving. He's hired by parents, siblings, and friends to keep the women from making mistakes. With the help of his sister, brother-in-law, and the information they gather about their marks, they efficiently make the women fall for Alex, and in the process, make them realize that they don't love their partner.

They only intervene if they see that the woman is truly unhappy, and they never act on the basis of race or nationality. Alex doesn't sleep with the women, it's all strictly business. That is (there's always a catch) he's hired to thwart an upcoming marriage that seems perfect from the outside, and meets a woman who becomes more than just another job.

There's nothing particularly new or brilliant about Heartbreakers, but it's pleasant enough. It's amusing at times (mostly thanks to the comic relief of the sister and brother-in-law characters), and whoever wrote the script has a definite love for Dirty Dancing. The movie is referenced almost constantly, and there's even a spot-on recreation of a dance scene, near the end. So if you're a big fan of Dirty Dancing, the novelty of that should be a point in Heartbreaker's favor.

Overall, this was an okay movie. There are much worse movies of the type, that's for sure.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2010
Cast: Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier, François Damiens, Héléna Noguerra, Andrew Lincoln, Jacques Frantz, Amandine Dewasmes

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Summary: Alex (Romain Duris) and his sister, Mélanie (Julie Ferrier), and her husband, Marc (François Damiens), earn money by breaking up relationships. But when Alex falls for a client's (Jacques Frantz) daughter, Juliette (Vanessa Paradis), he has to decide if he'll bust up her wedding to Jonathon (Andrew Lincoln), who's truly perfect for her.

My Thoughts: "I don't care how predictable it was, I loved it. The comedy, the actors, the cliche's, and the romance. I loved it all. Very funny film with a couple odd characters (the sister and her husband) that I thought were great and funny. Romain Duris, is cute, charming, and was great in his role as Alex. Vanessa Paradis was great in this as well, playing a strong independent woman with a tough exterior. Loved the car scene with the Wham song.. also the restaurant scene where they payed tribute to 'Dirty Dancing', it was fun. I was surprised there was American music in the film. It's a great movie for those who don't mind subtitles, (there is some english in this as well) and who love rom-coms."
Mark A

Super Reviewer

January 8, 2013
Charming. Yes, that is a good word to describe this one. Highly improbable situations and a highly predictable story, but this film still managed to enchant, and yes, to actually prompt laughter! Romain Duris as Alex, the professional relationship buster, and Vanessa Paradis as Juliette, his latest target, sparkle in this French romantic comedy. The supporting cast is nearly perfect as well. The dialog crackles, the villains are drawn largely (and physically large) and the action is practically non-stop. There is a lot going on, but the crux of the story is about the sparks between the two principals. A lovely, lively, ultimately entertaining film.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

December 7, 2011
In "Heartbreaker," Alex(Romain Duris) is the front man for a business that he runs with his sister Melanie(Julie Ferrier) and brother-in-law Marc(Francois Damiens) that specializes in breaking up unhappy couples, even if they are not aware of it themselves. As successful as they are, Alex is deeply in debt due to his taste in expensive suits. And Berber villages do not build themselves. So against their better judgment, they take on the job of breaking up Juliette(Vanessa Paradis) and Jonathan(Andrew Lincoln), despite the fact that he is so perfect that they all want to date him. By contrast, she has a gap in her front teeth and loves George Michael and "Dirty Dancing."(Sorry, but I have not been able to get those two songs out of my head the last couple of days.) Regardless, Alex has a week to work his magic in Monaco before their wedding.

"Heartbreaker" is a moderately appealing movie that works its familiar charms well. Romain Duris makes a good lead, as he is sexy enough to pass as god's gift to women, ironically playing a character who does not live up to the full potential of the characters he plays. Admittedly, the 'seduction by liberation' business is ethically dubious.(As Marc crudely puts it, they seek to open a women's eyes, not her legs.) Even though I am not thrilled about outside intervention except in the case of violence and abuse, I suppose it could work, assuming the woman has never been exposed to true happiness before. In any case, what is truly important are the crazy things we do for love.
neumdaddy
neumdaddy

Super Reviewer

September 29, 2010
Heartbreaker is essentially the cinematic equivalent of a Hostess cupcake, or some similarly low-grade sweetness that maybe does the job but you kinda wish you opted for something healthier / better-tasting. But, a French version of said low-nutrient snack. It takes a ridiculous premise and runs with it: a crack team of ?break-up? specialists are paid to enlighten women by seducing them and having them realize their present relationship is too toxic to resume. If this were an American film, it?d star Katherine Heigl and Matthew McConaughey, or some such pairing emblematic of bad romantic comedies vomiting out of Hollywood these days. But, this is France. Charm happens in France, at least to us American viewers. Romain Duris plays Alex Lippi, the ?heartbreaker? at the head of the team (who looks remarkably like Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords, with a dash of Sacha Baron Cohen), and after a necessary montage showing his prowess of seduction, he and his team are entered into the impossible gig: to break up what seems like a good relationship. Vanessa Paradis ? Mrs. Johnny Depp herself ? plays the romantic foil, a fiancé of Mr. Perfect, etc. etc., and her father doesn?t want to see this marriage come through. The entire plot is shoddily predictable, replete with easy jokey targets such as George Michael and ?Dirty Dancing? as running gags, and would be utter dreck if/when it?s Americanized with aforementioned clichéd actors forefronting it. But the film is given panache with Duris? animated hilarity, and makes those easy targets genuinely funny. Lippi is a force in this film, and you watch it mainly because of him. The whole team actually provides the bulk of the film?s funny, featuring ?that one contortionist girl from Micmacs? and ?the one guy who looks kinda familiar from that one movie, or something.? Anyway, Paradis herself is a rather empty and not wholly interesting foil, but it didn?t matter. The movie and its script were beyond saving, try as Duris might. But, happily enough, I did get something out of this wasteful confection of a movie: I need to be on the look out for more films starring Romain Duris.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2010
Charming, but nothing very original. Duris is Alex, a man who is hired to make women fall in love with him so they will break off relationships with men they don't realize are making them unhappy. His sister Melanie, played by the beautiful Ferrier, and her husband Marc, played by the very funny Damiens help Alex by gathering intel, doing surveillance, staying close in disguise, and generally making magic happen with each of Alex's targets. The use of espionage in getting close to the women and playing with their hearts is the most refreshing thing that kept the movie from being a total cliche. Ferrier and especially Damiens provide the most hilarious bits that are much needed to keep the movie from dragging.

Most of the movie consists of Alex and his team's difficult assignment in putting a stop to a wedding that is a week off involving Paradis as Juliette. Her father has mysterious reasons for trying to break up Juliette and her British fiance Jonathan, played by Lincoln. Juliette has a horny ex-best friend that keeps trying to convince her to go astray, but Juliette is a good, classy young lady. Her fiance is a rich philanthropist who seemingly doesn't have any faults and they both are happily in love. Eventually Alex is persistent enough in manipulating Juliette that she does fall for him, and of course the manipulator finds himself thinking of the woman as a real person and not his target. The relationship between the two leads at times reminded me of It Happened One Night or Roman Holiday. The ending is ripped right from It Happened One Night.
Nicolas K

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2011
Not all European cinema is worth a watch, especially the ones that copy the Hollywood box-office recipies. If it wasn't for a rather charming Romain Duris, this film would be a disaster.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

May 8, 2010
A bog standard romance flick where the man falls for the girl he's only supposed to be 'interested in' for a bet/job/dare (here he's attempting to break up an engagement as part of his job - a 'heart breaker'). I am very, very fond of Romain Duris and he is excellent here, as he is in everything, and it's great to see he has a flair for knockabout comedy to match his gift for drama (I especially love the moment he tries to recreate a dance from Dirty Dancing). But his good work aside, there's nothing new here, and it's depressing to learn that the French are just as good at making generic, run-of-the-mill romance movies as the Americans and the British are. Entirely skippable.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

January 10, 2011
Easily described, "Heartbreaker" is the reverse plot of the film "Hitch" with Will Smith. Romain Duris is the master at breaking up relationships by becoming irresistible to the ladies. Of course, it backfires when he falls in love. Duris has the same charm as Smith and really carries some truly funny and endearing moments throughout the film. It is very easy to enjoy this foreign film and all of its characters.
lesleyanorton
lesleyanorton

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2011
French romantic comedy about a man who makes women fall out of love with their unsuitable partners as a profession. Apparently all you need to do is like every single thing she likes and and cry sensitively once and she's yours.
Quite sweet light entertainment.
Ina S

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2011
It's a romcom, yeah, but a good one. Charmingly French, extremely entertaining.
Donna D

Super Reviewer

January 29, 2011
I loved it!!! Although the entire movie was in subtitles and they spoke in French, the movie was Excellent and Magnificent. Full of surprising twists and humor that you keep wondering what is going to happen next. :) Adventure movie with lots of action and humor. ;)
PeteyPablo10
May 26, 2012
Pretty entertaining movie despite some minor flaws. The adventure of a heart breaker and his companions trying to end what seems to be the perfect relationship is a new plot for me. It had a lot of funny moments especially from Francois Damiens and Romain Duris. I felt as though this could have put out a little more in terms of events rather than so much dialogue. Though the ending was about cliche and predictable as most romantic comedies, don't let that prevent you from seeing this movie.
atlantris25
March 31, 2012
Thought this movie was very refreshing and funny!!! I could watch it several times without growing tired of it.
September 24, 2011
ok kinda funny french rom-com where a man and his sister & her husband are paid to break up relationships until (what a surprize!) in the words of the old song;"the hunter gets captured by the game" and he falls for the woman his supposed to be breaking up.
September 9, 2010
Romain Duris has become one of my favorite actors, but as charming as he is, this movie just fell flat. Sure, it had its occasional funny moments thanks to Julie Ferrier and Francois Damiens but this flick just lacked originality and with its predictability,it just seemed a little boring.
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