Up For Love (Jean Dujardin) - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
JEAN Dujardin, the charismatic star of The Artist, once more rolls out the charm for Up For Love, a French rom-com that seduces in spite of its flaws.
A remake of Argentinian hit Corazon de Leon, this finds Dujardin playing a 4ft 4ins man who falls in love with stunning lawyer Diane (Virginie Efira), only to find the path to happily ever after beset by height challenged problems.
Laurent Tirard’s film certainly boasts an interesting premise and has a certain amount of fun subverting expectation early on.
But it quickly settles into a routine rom-com format, whereby two people fall in love, enjoy plenty of fantastical romantic adventure, hit the inevitable bump (or reality check) and require a grand gesture to reconcile.
What elevates Up For Love, however, is the charming nature of the lead performances, with Dujardin an essay in free-flowing charisma early on, before being forced to confront his own demons and channelling some nice inner angst late on.
Efira is also good value, by turns beautiful and daring, yet equally liable to being insensitive and unsure.
If the support feels tokenistic – from the disapproving mum and ex to the annoying nosy secretary – the film remains strong when in the company of its leads, while Tirard ensures the film is always easy on the eye (an early skydiving sequence is particularly well shot) as well as pacy.
On the downside, there are one or two moments when the film feels too preposterous and sometimes crass in its handling of the height issue and views on being different.
While one question does linger throughout: why use Dujardin and shrink him to 4ft 4ins rather than employing a real little person? But while certainly valid – and glaringly obvious on the few occasions the effects don’t convince – it’s still an asset to the film to have an actor of Dujardin’s calibre on board.
Hence, Up For Love achieves what it sets out to: to crowd please and offer some frivolous fun.
(In French, with subtitles)
Running time: 98mins
UK Release Date: August 5, 2016