The Role of Her Life (Le Role de sa Vie) Reviews

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½ March 25, 2007
Enjoyable drama about the unique challenges of friendship between celebrities and non-celebs--or, for that matter, between boss and employee. I've seen the film lazily compared to The Devil Wears Prada and All About Eve, but those comparisons are way off the mark. It's much more in the vein of [i]Notting Hill[/i] in subject matter but richer and more thoughtful. Notting Hill was a Hollywood fantasy about a Hollywood star, but [i]Le Role de Sa Vie[/i] is more realistic.

I've come to expect excellence from Jaoui (who deserves to be much better known in the U.S.), and I was not disappointed. The script here is not quite as sharp those she has co-written with Bacri, but it's still quite good.

Star Karin Viard has been in films for 20 years, but this is the first time I remember really noticing her, and I see a lot of French films, so perhaps she will be a fresh face for other Americans. She gives a strong performance here as an emotionally slightly timid writer who gets pulled into the orbit of a famous actress, and the film explores various changing aspects of their relationship: as friends, romantic rivals, professionals.

[A sidenote: I notice Viard has since starred in a film, [i]L'Enfer[/i], written by Kieslowski and directed by the excellent Danis Tanovic ([i]No Man's Land[/i]) that has not yet been released in the States though it's now two years later. Come on! Someone release it on DVD at least.]

A good mature drama, enjoyable and intelligent. You won't get many chances to see it on the big screen, so see it if you can. Agnes Jaoui fans will especially want to see it.
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