Delightful romcom
Ably supported by good cinematography and jazzy music, Pascal Chaumell’s Heartbreaker tickles the funny bone overtime

One has to hand it out to the French, they do things with panache. Never mind the credibility or the predictability, but Heartbreaker is a frothy, delightful romp into neverland that makes some recent Hollywood romcoms pale into nothingness.

To start with, the plot is weird, or unusual to say the least. Alex (Romain Duris) is a professional breaker of romances, and his partners in crime are sister Melanie (Julie Ferrier) and her husband Mark (Francois Damiens). An important consideration to take up an assignment — the woman must be unhappy with her partner. Enter super-rich florist (Jacques Frantz), whose bold, and somewhat, wild daughter Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) is shortly to walk down the isle with a rather bland Englishman named Jonathan (Andrew Lincoln) and the florist hires Alex to do his thing.

Heartbreaker makes some recent Hollywood romantic comedies pale into nothingness

In a kind of preface, director Pascal Chaumell gives us a taste of his modus operandi so that by the time the cast rolls, one has the seatbelt fastened and ready for the ride. Shot mostly in picture-postcard Monte Carlo, cinematographer Thierry Arboghast has a field day and the jazzy music tempo takes the action to another level.

The "terrible trio" then moves to Monaco where the damsel takes a holiday. Alex is her bodyguard, who starts off with his routine sob story but Juliette doesn’t bat an eyelid. She is joined by her fiancé Jonathan, and then, for some variety or oomph, her randy school-time pal Sophie (Helena Nogueira), also makes an appearance.

The air is electric and Romain Duris fits the role like a glove, his Casanova moves, change of moods and dirty dancing, a la Patrick Swayze make inroads into the heroine’s heart with the haughty, gap-toothed Paradis shows enough skill flaunting elegant outfits as she breezes through her role but also pauses at the right but rare emotional moments. The film is one of a kind.