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Petites Coupures (Small Cuts) (15)

Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: One

USUALLY French films are very good, aren't they? They usually make us wonder why we in Britain can't come up with something as witty, sexy, sophisticated, full of joi de vivre.

Then, occasionally a movie comes along that reminds us that the French cam make rubbish films as well.

This is one of those.

Bruno (Daniel Auteuil) is a craggy, Commie journalist who is called away from Paris to help his uncle Gerard, who is having a spot of trouble in his fight to retain the mayor-ship of a small, rural French town.

Once he arrives chez oncle, Bruno is told he must go see Gerard's opponent and deliver a letter which, we are led to believe, will be such a shock to him that he either drops dead on the spot, or immediately withdraws from the election. Leaving Gerard to triumph again. Hurrah!

Unfortunately, the letter is not quite the surprise that Gerard hoped it would be and his opponent, who is almost permanently linked to an oxygen machine, shrugs it off and vows, between puffs on his mask, to fight even harder.

Dumbstruck at this turn of events Bruno turns to the woman of the house, Beatrice (Kristin Scott Thomas), for solace.

But this turns out to be a mistake, because Beatrice is a fruitcake who doesn't appear to know whether she is opponent's stepdaughter or wife.

As it turns out she is both, she married the old guy after her mother died in a mudslide (what are the chances?), and as you might expect she is mightily confused. One minute she is seducing Bruno, the next she is rejecting him.

And that really is about it. Nothing really happens except for Bruno, who is so seedy and unglamorous he makes Woody Allen look like Brad Pitt, being alternately picked up and dumped by barmy Beatrice, while being driven in and out a dark forest, where the natives are decidedly hostile.

In the intervals when he is not 'an item' with Beatrice, Bruno manages, with an ease that is farcical, to pull every young bird he comes across, without apparently having any of the pre-requisites of a serial stud - he's not handsome, he's not funny, he's not brave, he's not rich, he's not sexy, he's not big and he's not clever.

Total drivel. Avoid at all costs.

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