REVIEWED
2/9/03

STORY



LOOK

Amelie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain)
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Year: 2001
TRT: 2:02


Why do I have to get all sappy over some stupid sentimental french flick? Sorry, but I'm man enough to admit it's true. Not like breaking down sobbing like a little bitch or nothin, it's just a nice heartwarming kinda flick. It reminds me of a Wes Anderson movie (ie Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums), except in french. This is from the same director who made the darkly humorous Delicatessen, the strangely surrealistic The City of Lost Children, and the turd-like fourth installment in the Alien saga (which I even shudder to mention, but it is true). Luckily this film is nothing like that, or the others, for that matter. The only thing that is consistent is the presence of Dominique Pinon, who's been in pretty much every feature-length film Jeunet has done (here as a jealously obsessed boyfriend). But for the movie itself, from the very beginning, it is fresh and imaginative, much like the main character Amelie, who is played beautifully by the wide-eyed Audrey Tautou. There's a narrative that goes over the film at some points, with some quirky little side-tracks that make you chuckle. It makes me want to learn french so I didn't have to keep reading the subtitles.

So what are we dealing with here? It's the story of a young woman who has grown up in almost total seclusion besides the contact with her parents, and prefers to live in the fantasy world she paints around her. She eventually grows up and moves to Paris. But after a unique discovery of an old tin box hidden in her apartment wall, she decides to do good deeds, which eventually draws her more into the world of the living. She operates in a mysterious fashion, and does some mischievous acts as well to those that deserve it, but she still finds herself alone, and ultimately scared of living the rest of her life sad and morose. But there is something that drives her on, of fulfilling her wish to overcome her fears and to fall in love. (It's a french film, what the hell did you expect?)

So guys, listen up. If you want to score some points with your woman, the next time you're in the video store not knowing quite what you want, pick this one up and impress the hell out of her. It's pretty amusing (read: you won't be bored to tears) and makes for a decent romantic film that doesn't involve crappy Billy Crystal-like antics. Jeunet definitely has a great style, using a lot of very saturated colors, and some unique visuals incorporated to make this a very cool film to watch as well.

Great Scene(s): There are quite a few, really, but my favorite would be the scenes revolving around Amelie's father and a traveling gnome.

DVD Notes: None since I saw it on tape.