Rosalie Blum

Rosalie Blum

(2015)

French comedy about a chance encounter, written and directed by Julien Rappeneau. Stars Kyan Khojandi, Noémie Lvovsky, Alice Isaaz, Anémone and Philippe Rebbot.... More

Living in a small country town in France, Vincent Machot spends his time running his hair salon and dealing with his over-possessive mother and his sex maniac cousin Laurent. One Sunday morning, Vincent experiences a strange sense of déjà-vu when he meets the gaze of a lady at the grocery store. Compelled to understand why she seems so familiar, Vincent sets out to follow her in order to unravel the mystery.Hide

Flicks Review

Turns out Amélie grew up, got glasses and now works behind a grocer’s desk – kind of. French comedy from first-time director Julien Rappeneau Rosalie Blum follows a similar cutesy-stalker narrative without half as much whimsy. Vincent (Kyan Khojandi) is a balding barber, who still lives with his eccentric, puppet-wielding mother. In an ever-distant long distance relationship with a woman in Paris, Vincent becomes enamoured with Rosalie, an intriguing woman who serves him at the local grocers.... More

Like all romantic men, he begins to gently stalk her and she promptly sends someone to follow him. This is where the loopy, puzzle of a plot is set in motion, told in three distinct chapters. With a twentysomething Aude (Alice Isaaz) and her flatmates now obsessed with Vincent, who is obsessed with Rosalie, it becomes a farcical French human centipede of spies.

Khonjandi is the convincingly gormless hero of Rosalie Blum, sympathetic without ever being sad or creepy even though he is, without a doubt, a bonafide stalker. Noémie Lvovsky’s mysterious, bespectacled Rosalie ran the risk of becoming a manic pixie cat lady, but the film resists falling into that particular vat of twee no matter how many Belle & Sebastian songs feature (1). Instead, Rappeneau deftly weaves a wistful wee flick about finding human connections and the way that our little lives can come to surprise and intertwine. Rosalie Blum isn’t laugh out loud by any stretch, but it’s definitely the kind of old-school screwball comedy that makes you do a weird half smile like a drunk person.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY cinemusefilm superstar

The French film Rosalie Blum (2016) is a low-key comedy that uses whimsical coincidence as a narrative framing device. Whimsy is an old-fashioned term that describes something playfully funny about nothing of consequence. Rather than plot-driven, this story is like a loose jigsaw puzzle of quirky characters whose paths connect by chance and whose lives become entwined.
Part of the whimsy comes from the story being told from three different viewpoints that eventually converge to explain little... More more than how the paths came to intersect in the first place. Vincent is a balding shy downtrodden 30-something hairdresser dominated by his mother and emotionally still a child. By chance he meets middle-aged shopkeeper Rosalie and is perplexed by the feeling he knows her from somewhere. To fill his empty life, he begins to follow her and she soon notices his stalking. Rosalie asks her niece Aude to follow him to find out what’s going on and she readily agrees just for fun. The story switches to their view of the adventure, and we see Aude and her friends as accident-prone bumbling detectives. Rosalie enjoys the attention as the characters continue to secretly watch each other until the game reaches it quaintly funny and inconsequential finale.
A thin plotline like this needs added substance to make it work and this comes from characterisation and charming French village setting. Vincent is neither likeable nor unlikeable, just innocuously ordinary and he plays this part to perfection. The relationship with his mother both humanises him and renders him hopelessly dependent. Rosalie is equally unfulfilled with a sad story of her own about an estranged son; she is sanguine about life and accepting of its disappointments. Aude is the spark that ignites the two hollow logs, exuberantly youthful and optimistic. Together with her excitable sleuthing friends they create several of the comic sketches that inject humour into an otherwise colourless tale. The narrative tension that sustains our curiosity comes from the hanging possibility of romance and our need for an explanation of Vincent’s obsessive behaviour. All are loners, and loneliness is a magnet for meaning and attachment.
Describing this film as a comedy is using the label in its most elastic form. There are many chuckles but few laughs: whimsy is like that. Quirky, soulful and curious are words that come closer to describing this modestly engaging tale about nothing much at all and the little-known actors rise to the challenge. The story elevates ordinariness to a higher plane and satisfies the curiosity it contrives with a simple yet charming finale.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • Khojandi is a convincingly hangdog hero, while Asaaz is a delightfully daffy Aude whose laziness and eccentric lifestyle become quite endearing. Rosalie is more of an enigma, but that's as it should be. Full Review

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