Romantics Anonymous

August 05, 2012



My parents watch A LOT of Netflix and every time that they enjoy whatever they watched, they recommend it to me. I don't usually take them up on their suggestions since my own to-watch list is so overwhelmingly long, but when my dad mentioned this quirky French film, and I realized it was already in my own Netflix queue, I bumped it up to the top.

It's the story of two "emotional" people. In other words, very very very shy. I don't think I've ever found a movie where the main characters are this introverted, and it was absolutely delightful! I'm quite "emotional" myself, and it was so refreshing to see people onscreen exhibiting the same embarrassing traits that I show when I have to engage in any kind of human interaction.

The girl, Angelique, attends AA-style meetings for people who have uncontrollable shyness. The boy, Jean-Rene, is seeing a therapist to help get over his anxieties. When he hires her to work at his floundering chocolate shop, it makes for one of the cutest boy-meets-girl stories I've ever seen. We're all familiar with movies where the heroine is incredibly timid, but overcomes her shyness with the help of an overly-confident, handsome, dashing man. But what if the boy is just as paralyzed with fear as she is?! It's a brilliant concept, and it's well written and well acted to boot.

A lot of people say they're shy, but they don't suffer from paralyzing shyness the way me and the characters in the film do. Like Angelique, I think I'm relatively talented at what I do (well, in the movie she's a lot more talented than me, but let's just ignore that for a second) but if I have to explain my work to somebody else --be it a judge in an art competition, or during a job interview, etc.-- my mind goes completely blank from fear. Every time I've ever been asked out, I've sabotaged it somehow. Like Jean-Rene, I've never been in a relationship because of my fear of both kinds of intimacy -- physical and emotional. I'm pretty sure if I ever found myself on a date, I'd need to make like Jean-Rene in the film and bring along a suitcase of extra shirts to change into as I sweat my way through each one.

I usually grumble when people complain that they couldn't relate to characters in a film, since that isn't a necessity for me when I watch a movie. I enjoy films where everyone is a louse with no redeemable characteristics. I like movies with unhappy endings or movies where the only good person ends up dead by the time the credits roll. But. I will admit, it is incredibly nice to be able to relate to a film this much. I obviously felt emotional; my overactive empathy gland made me feel just as the characters did in each scene. (I'm a little surprised I didn't need to change shirts just watching it!) I knew exactly what they were going through, and I could feel their pain, heartbreak and elation.

And because this is, after all, a movie with a happy ending... I can feel hope.

9 comments:

Ruth said...

I keep meaning to re-watch this gem of a film and post about it myself -- but I think I've held off doing so because I relate to it a little *too* much. Love that, though.

My Hideaway said...

This film sounds like something I would love. I laughed when you said "overactive empathy gland" because that's me. And actually that's my boyfriend too. He's worse than me when watching awkward scenes in movies or shows like The Office. And of course you will find someone as adorable as you are! Everyone acts like it's some big leap to jump into a relationship or fall in love and that can be terrifying for someone shy, but you need only be brave in small incremental steps. And before you know it you're not "dating" at all but just hanging out with your best friend. :)

Robby Cress said...

Thanks for your review. I keep seeing this film as available on Netflix and I'm always tempted to watch it but always end up starting something else that's been sitting in the queue. Your post has got me more intrigued so I think it's time to finally sit down and watch.

michelle tree said...

Oh my goodness! I've had this movie on my to-watch list since Valentine's Day! I'm so happy it's on instant queue! I often forget that almost all new foreign films are. Happy day! I will watch it this weekend :) Happy endings are great!

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Vico Prima said...

Very nice, thank for the information.

Vico @ rental mobil

Paula said...

I remember my sister telling we should totally watch this movie when it came out a couple of years ago. Somehow we never did... Thanks for reminding me, I'll definitely watch it now. xx

Matthew Coniam said...

Best new film I've seen in ages.

Lolita of the Classics said...

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