Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Vendetta Films
Available now on DVD

One of the first questions I asked myself early on in Every Jack Has A Jill, the slight French romantic comedy, is why would a woman with a litany of quirks and phobias, including a fear of speaking on the telephone (she doesn't trust discombobulated voices), take so fondly to the clothes (smelling, rubbing on her face and wearing) of a stranger mistakenly delivered to her Parisian apartment?

The woman is Chloe (Melanie Laurent of Inglourious Basterds) and the suitcase belongs to Jack (Justin Bartha, The Rebound). Jack's luggage has gone AWOL while he is holidaying solo in Paris, having won a trip to the city of lights and being promptly dumped by his girlfriend on hearing the news; his suitcase somehow making its way to Chloe's.

Much like Sleepless In Seattle, the pair spend the majority of the film apart, their meet-cute delayed until well into the second act by which time Chloe has fallen in love with a man she's never met and Jack has had a horrendous time where, stuck in a hotel sans luggage, he conducts a Cold War with the sibling owner-managers stemming from his initial refusal to tip.

Quirky Paris it aims for but Amelie it is not. Writer-director Jennifer Devoldere's themes of fate, destiny and soul mates, as well as embracing life as it is, is not exactly profound and only intermittently comic or romantic. Still, Laurent and Bartha are both likeable and do well to overcome the 'crazy French' and 'ugly American' stereotypes they've been assigned in a refreshingly brief (80 mins) film.

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