Looking for Hortense (Cherchez Hortense) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Looking for Hortense (Cherchez Hortense) Reviews

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½ March 10, 2014
Pascal Bonitzer has worked in French cinema as a scriptwriter since the 70's, and has collaborated with some legendary directors. He's been less prolific as a director, but those movies have followed the formula of his most noted scripts rather faithfully. He writes human drama with very little outright drama going on, relying on subtle dialog and quietly volatile characters. I have to admit that I've never been the biggest fan of his writing.

"Cherchez Hortense" is a relatively light tale from Bonizer. He has co-written the script with Agnés de Sacy, and I can't help but feel that the maestro has concentrated on directing so much that he has rushed through the writing process. The subtlety that is his trademark has been partly replaced by simple flatness, and the comedy has been left a bit toothless.

Thankfully, Bonizer directs with a good sense of timing, even if the whole movie is a bit too long for its story. What truly redeems "Cherchez Hortense" though are the actors, namely Jean-Pierre Bacri in the lead as the middle-aged lost soul Damien and Kristin Scott Thomas as Damien's determined and strong wife Iva. The two are engaged in a playful war. This provides the meat of the light dialog that also hides some deeper levels for the actors to work with. And they do their best, making this a surprisingly watchable and entertaining, quiet cacophony of a movie.
August 25, 2013
I only give one star and that only cause I like Kristin Scott Thomas, no matter what shit film she gets involved in. Have nothing else to say, just to quote Irish Times review on this: "As though aliens picked up a random Francophone VOD channel and regurgitated their own Scary Movie version of the worst bits back at humankind." In the bottom three of my Espoo Cine results.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2013
Damien (Bacri) lectures on Asian culture to French business types looking to gain an advantage in cracking that burgeoning market. His partner, Iva (Thomas), is a theater director in the midst of conducting an affair with her latest production's leading man. When Iva asks Damien to speak to his father (Rich), a judge, about repealing an expulsion order for a friend of her brother, Damien agrees reluctantly. Estranged from his father, fulfilling Iva's request becomes increasingly difficult for Damien, who in the process befriends Aurore (Carre), a young woman who works in a restaurant next door to a bookshop he frequents.
The basic set-up of Bonitzer's film is reminiscent of the type of scenario Larry David might spin for an episode of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. Stretched out to 100 minutes, however, this simple idea quickly becomes a test of patience, particularly given the poor, dated comedy on show. Bonitzer appears completely out of touch with modern society, mining jokes from topics like homosexuality and immigration as if he were a staff writer on a seventies British sitcom. A scene where Damien wakes up after a night of heavy (or, rather, heavy by French standards) drinking with a young gay Japanese waiter in his bed scales new heights of misjudgement.
Had he gone for a straight drama, instead of opting for cheap laughs, Bonitzer could have given us an intriguing film. Bacri is great as the put-upon Damien, as is Thomas, albeit short-changed in her role. The female characters in this film are all woefully written (and all seem to suffer from a nicotine addiction). Iva is the stereotypical cheating wife while Aurore is little more than a young damsel in distress, inexplicably waiting for an aging, out of shape knight like Damien to save her. Despite resembling an alcoholic butcher, Damien is apparently irresistible to young women, and indeed young men.
Perhaps the title 'Oh Grandad! The Movie' would be better fitting for the out of touch Bonitzer's latest?
½ June 16, 2013
Crise chez Damien Hauer : sa femme le trompe et il ne parvient pas à prendre contact avec son père méprisant pour aider une sans-papier qu'il ne connait même pas. Heureusement, en même temps il fait la rencontre d'Aurore, dont l'amitié lui apporte un peu de soleil.
Une histoire simple sur un homme d'une quarantaine d'années qui subit sa vie plutôt qu'il n'y participe. Bacri est parfait pour incarner cet homme qui aimerait bien aider son prochain, mais dont la route est régulièrement entravée d'obstacles divers : sa femme (Kristin Scott Thomas) qui n'assume pas son infidélité. Son meilleur ami qui oscille entre envie de suicide et euphorie amoureuse. Son père qu'il déteste car condescendant, faisant tout pour l'éviter, et à qui il découvre des tendances homosexuelles. Sa belle-famille qui lui en veut de ne pas se bouger pour aider leur amie Zorica.
Il en résulte un récit charmant, avec la politique des sans-papier en toile de fonds, mais sans jamais partir en croisade contre le système. La mise en scène des relations entre êtres humains qui se croisent et qui vivent chacun leur histoire.
½ October 7, 2012
A splendid movie on turning 50 and the administrative difficulties of being illegal in France. It seems that life is a bit complicated to the son of this old 70ish man who turned out to be gay...
October 1, 2012
Who says French cinema is dead? I do, usually, especially when Louis Garrel is involved. But this here is a real gem, Garrel free.
½ September 23, 2012
chiant du début à la fin
September 11, 2012
une comédie sympathique avec des quiproquos, des mensonges et un Bacri tout chiffonné!
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