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:: Ma Femme Est Une Actrice (My Wife Is An Actress)

Yvan Attal is a French/Israeli director, who also writes and stars in this humorous French romantic comedy. He seems to have taken much influence from the American movie culture while ensuring it is a French film. Interestingly, Yvan is married in real-life to his fellow lead actor Charlotte Gainsbourg, and he uses their real first names. We don’t know if the film then reflects their true-life situation.

Yvan plays a sports journalist who is married to a movie star (Charlotte). It is Charlotte’s high profile celebrity status that causes frustration and jealousy on Yvan’s part. One only has to observe a scene where, seated at a restaurant, the two of them plus Yvan’s sister and brother-in-law are interrupted by autograph hunters. Then, whenever Yvan tries to book a restaurant table, he is told that there are no tables available until midnight. When Charlotte calls, however, a table is reserved for whenever she wants. These are small annoyances for Yvan and they are very funny to observe. He sees this power difference and his insecurity results. When Charlotte goes to London to make a film – one that involves a sex scene with her leading man (Terence Stamp), Yvan’s suspicions and jealousy react, even to the point of paying surprise visits to London by train.

There are many entertaining moments throughout their relationship. Conversely, there is a sub-plot concerning Yvan’s pregnant Jewish sister (Noemie Lvovsky) and her husband (Laurent Bateau) which includes a running argument about whether they should circumcise their baby just after birth.

Yvan Attal manages to craft intelligent and witty dialogue, though the dramatic moments are probably more pertinent to the success of the film. It’s his “control” of Charlotte’s life and his lowering self-esteem at her growing popularity that makes a worthy mark.

The lead actors give excellent performances and it’s a story that should appeal to the non-French viewer, particularly in America. The frothy romanticism, together with an excellent jazz score by Brad Mehldau, gives “My Wife Is An Actress” the right amount of bubble.

Screening at Cinema Como, Brighton Bay Cinema, and the Rivoli Cinemas.