My Wife Is an Actress (2002)
Paris can boast a population of 2,125,246. Of these 1,153,000 are women and 10,000 are actresses. Yvan, a young sports writer, is married to one who is very well known - Charlotte. They try to live a normal life, but her fame makes it difficult - autograph hunters interrupt their dinners, cops about to serve traffic summonses let them off with a warning and a smile when they recognize her, and impossible-to-get restaurant reservations magically appear when Charlotte makes the calls instead of Yvan. All this threatens and challenges his male ego, but Yvan is able to take her stardom in stride. Until, that is, a man at a bar asks him if he gets jealous watching his wife make love in the nude to another man on screen. It has never seriously bothered him before, but the stranger sows the first seed of doubt in his head... … More
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Critic Reviews for My Wife Is an Actress
Quirky French films like this can either work really well or be absolutely intolerable. Thankfully, this proves to be a very enjoyable comedy about jealousy.
Both Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsborough are thoroughly appealing, as their unblinking honesty and openness shines through even the film's silliest bits.
Attal's hang-ups surrounding infidelity are so old-fashioned and, dare I say, outdated, it's a wonder that he couldn't have brought something fresher to the proceedings simply by accident.
Never less than clever and often digs down into some uncomfortable realities about the strange lives of that odd species known as 'movie people.'
God help the poor woman if Attal is this insecure in real life: his fictional Yvan's neuroses are aggravating enough to exhaust the patience of even the most understanding spouse.
"My Wife is an Actress" blends elements of fiction and reality, shakes them up and hopes for the best.
It's the kind of movie that ends up festooning U.S. art house screens for no reason other than the fact that it's in French (well, mostly) with English subtitles and is magically 'significant' because of that.
Attal pushes too hard to make this a comedy or serious drama. He seems to want both, but succeeds in making neither.
Starts off witty and sophisticated and you want to love it -- but filmmaker Yvan Attal quickly writes himself into a corner.
Not only is this material slight, it also seems ridiculously padded.
A funny valentine to show business and marriage, an inside joke that plays humorously for anybody to grasp.
The three leads produce adequate performances, but what's missing from this material is any depth of feeling.
My Wife Is an Actress is an utterly charming French comedy that feels so American in sensibility and style it's virtually its own Hollywood remake.
My Wife's plotting is nothing special; it's the delivery that matters here.
The situation and humor are sitcom quality at best.
Part comedy, part drama, the movie winds up accomplishing neither in full, and leaves us feeling touched and amused by several moments and ideas, but nevertheless dissatisfied with the movie as a whole.
The film's as witty as any subtitled movie has a right to be.
It's Othello Lite -- minus that bit at the end about murder-suicide, but with every ounce of Shakespeare's insane emotion.
Little more than a frothy vanity project.
Audience Reviews for My Wife Is an Actress
The marriage between a successful actress and a sportswriter suffers as a result of jealousy, distance, and the nature of her profession.
After watching this film, you shouldn't wonder why relationships in Hollywood last as long as milk on a hot day. Yvan Attal's deft, comic story-telling renders all the awkwardness a man might feel while watching his wife naked on screen. And the scene in which he surprises her on set only to find the entire cast and crew naked is truly hilarious. I'm glad that the film stopped at sexual jealousy and didn't suggest that Yvan was emasculated because his wife's success eclipsed his own. Such a plot would have been cliche and reduced Yvan's character to nothing more than a typically insecure male.
Terence Stamp is perfectly cast as the cad co-star who crosses the line between creating "on-screen chemistry" and seducing another man's wife. His lecherous looks make him dangerously charming, and there is the right amount of self-aggrandizing to make his character worthy of comic ridicule.
I was fully prepared to go as high as four stars until the end. I don't know what Attal was thinking, but the story never resolved. We never know what motivates this couple's decision, and as a result, it's difficult to determine what exactly Attal is saying about these characters or the business of filmmaking.
Overall, though, My Wife Is an Actress provides some brilliant moments and is filled with charming performances.
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