Starts October 17, 2013
Directed by: Agnès Jaoui
Writing credits: Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri
Cast: Agathe Bonitzer, Arthur Dupont, Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Benjamin Biolay
Length: 112 minutes
"Once upon a time there was …" a beautiful 24-year-old Parisian (Bonitzer) still waiting for her ‘Prince Charming’ to come along. Soon after his image is revealed to her in a dream, she meets him —a dashing young musician by the name of Sandro (Dupont) — at a ball. Enchanted by each other, they dance all night never wanting to let go.
This is how most fairy tales end, but where this story actually begins. Agnès Jaoui (script/director) and Jean-Pierre Bacri (script) were interested in what happens after the happy end, when ‘life happens’. They developed the story from here and —in keeping with the spirit of a fairy tale—, created a universe, populated by people whose characters (good, bad and evil) are modeled after those we know from famous fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Snow White. Though it is amusing to detect such parallels —most interestingly Benjamin Biolay (Maxime) impersonating the big bad wolf—, it becomes tiring to keep track of the large cast, trying to sort their relationships, and follow the different—unfortunately not terribly interesting—stories.
Delightful is the idea to have paintings morph into photo stills throughout the film, to reference the underlying fairy tale theme. But too much is made of the school play rehearsing, with the little prince and princess not wanting to follow the teachers direction in the spirit of the fairy tale (Carola A.)