Heartbreaker

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:M
  • Release Date:December 26, 2010
  • Distributor:Hopscotch
  • Running time:101 minutes
  • Film Worth:$7.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

While it opens with a promising start, this quickly becomes a vacuous and formulaic romantic comedy.

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This French rom-com has a funny and promising premise. Alex (Romain Duris, from Russian Dolls and The Beat That My Heart Skipped) has an interesting job; in cahoots with his two cronies - a husband and wife - he breaks up relationships for a living. He achieves this by using his apparently irresistible charms to make the female half of a couple realise that her beloved man is not the one for her. Alex does, however, have a few scruples. He won't act on behalf of the religiously motivated, for example, and he never sleeps with the girl. "We open their eyes, not their legs," he says.

The opening scene is pretty good too. We watch Alex in Morocco - Marrakesh and its surrounding dunes - spinning his web of venality to ensnare a typically vulnerable target. With the cooperation of sundry bribed locals, he soon has her convinced that he is not only god's gift to women, but also a sensitive soul and a heroic humanitarian.

But then the rot sets in. The "action" moves to Monaco, where Alex's mission is to prevent the very imminent marriage of wine connoisseur Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) to English philanthropist Jonathan (Andrew Lincoln). With the connivance of Juliette's father, Alex becomes her unwelcome bodyguard. The plot and the emotional trajectory are all by-the-numbers from here on in, and are not helped by the inclusion of a profoundly stupid slapstick subplot about hoodlums and unpaid debts. 

Heartbreaker will be a hoot if you find repeated allusions to Wham! and Dirty Dancing uproarious. Other than that, it's boring, flat, and essentially a slick, over-produced and banal romantic farce, all set to an awfully saccharine soundtrack. It's vacuously decorative, predictable and formulaic - all the ingredients for a box office smash, in other words.

 

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