Populaire (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Populaire (2013)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The cheerfully frothy Populaire may lack substance, but its visual appeal -- and director Roinsard's confident evocation of 1950s filmmaking tropes -- help carry the day.

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Movie Info

Spring, 1958: 21-year-old Rose Pamphyle lives with her grouchy widower father who runs the village store. Engaged to the son of the local mechanic, she seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife. But that's not the life Rose longs for. When she travels to Lisieux in Normandy, where charismatic insurance agency boss Louis Echard is advertising for a secretary, the ensuing interview is a disaster. But Rose reveals a special gift - she can type at extraordinary speed. Unwittingly, the young woman awakens the dormant sports fan in Louis. If she wants the job she'll have to compete in a speed typing competition. Whatever sacrifices Rose must make to reach the top, Louis declares himself her trainer. He'll turn her into the fastest girl not only in the country, but in the world! But a love of sport doesn't always mix well with love itself. -- (C) Weinstein

Cast

Romain Duris
as Louis Echard
Déborah François
as Rose Pamphyle
Bérénice Bejo
as Marie Taylor
Shaun Benson
as Bob Taylor
Mélanie Bernier
as Annie Leprince Ringuet
Nicolas Bedos
as Gilbert Japy
Miou-Miou
as Madeleine Echard
Frederic Pierrot
as Jean Pamphyle
Feodor Atkine
as André Japy
Dominique Reymond
as Mrs. Shorofsky
Eddy Mitchell
as Georges Echard
Marius Coluci
as Lucien Echard
Emeline Bayart
as Jacqueline Echard
Yannik Landrein
as Léonard Echard
Nastassja Girard
as Evelyne Echard
Jeanne Cohendy
as Françoise
Serpentine Teyssier
as Boarding School Proprietress
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Critic Reviews for Populaire

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (22)

It's neatly formatted, but if there's a message in the margins of this manuscript, "Populaire" doesn't spell it out.

Full Review… | September 26, 2013
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

As romantic comedy it's uneven, but as an ode to something long gone, "Populaire" hits the right notes.

September 19, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Even when there's tragedy around the turn, it doesn't matter. Populaire plays like a musical - you expect anyone, at any time, to break into song.

Full Review… | September 19, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

[Populaire] does run through the expected paces with admirable style, with a glossy, Technicolor production design that sometimes makes it seem it might have been made in the '50s, not just set there.

Full Review… | September 13, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Roinsard, who wrote his feature debut with Daniel Presley and Romain Compingt, is unabashedly in love with cheesy, cornball sentiment, which he dusts off and polishes to a fair-thee-well.

Full Review… | September 12, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

Is this remake really necessary? Maybe not, but to worry about that is to risk missing out on a lot of fun.

Full Review… | September 12, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Populaire

½

There's so much to love about this French romantic comedy that centers on the world of speed tying in the late fifties. As a period piece, this film was produced convincingly. The costumes are authentic, the sets are bright and brilliant, and the attitudes are pure Parisian metropolitan. The subject matter of speed typing was engrossing and was handled splendidly, rising in tension from one scene to the next. The training sessions were interesting, the inner personal relationships were also, and the love story, though mishandled at times, was an adorable adage to the rest of the plot. The competition was so fierce and unbridled that it almost made me uncomfortable, and for some reason the stakes were quite high, even though our main character Rose (Francois) didn't even initially want to compete. This film fuses all the best aspects of the fifties aesthetic with the vintage idyllic themes of a classic love story. It feels quite authentic, and it's beautiful to boot, making it a traditional and yet contemporary film.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

This movie, while good, didn't really click for me. The visual style, and presentation, is certainly very charming, but the film's script is very uneven. It's clear that the film is a tribute to old 50s movies, like something Audrey Hepburn would appear in. It's basically a tribute to a time in film that's long gone, and the movie pulls it off very well I thought. The film, other than the fact that it's in color, looks like it could've come straight out of the 50s. The problem is that in concentrating so much of the film on how everything looks and how it sounds, the set design, the costume design, and trying to make sure it feels like it could've come from the 50s, they forgot that they actually had to make the movie, the story, and its characters interesting. The leads are quite good, Deborah Francois has that old Hollywood starlet feel. She's definitely no Audrey Hepburn, but she has that same type of likable charm and presence, and that's exactly what the film needed. She's certainly the highlight of the film. Romain Duris is fine too, but I found his character to be a little uninteresting, especially when compared to Deborah. He's certainly good, but I wasn't a big fan of how his character was handled. The movie lacks substance, it never really feels like these two are falling in love. It really is concentrated in style of substance and actual character development, and that's the film's biggest downfall. Your film can have the best set design, the costume design, the best score...but if your story isn't interesting then all that, while it's not unimportant, is wasted. You went through all that work trying to make the film look and film genuine, that you forgot the most important part of the film, the part that matters most in the long run, and that's the story and the characters. And I don't mean to say the film's bad, as implied by the score I gave it, the cast is solid and the film is, visually, very charming. It just should've been much better considering how much work went into everything else. Maybe it's just me, but I wasn't into this movie that much. It wasn't exactly an interesting story or an heartwarming love story, it's still a perfectly solid movie.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

A delightful and sweet film which oozes aroma of cinema how it used to be in the 50s and 60s: innocent and breezy bringing a sense of nostalgia to those who are 40+. It could have been a real gem if Romain Duris did not have the charm of a plasterboard.

Nicolas Korovessis
Nicolas Korovessis

Super Reviewer

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