Dir: Cedric Klapisch, 2005, France/UK (125 min)
Romain Duris, Audrey Tatou, Kelly Reilly
Slouchy Parisian lothario Xavier (Duris) is tussling with the void between his expectations of love and work, and the imperfect realities of adulthood. With his novel on hold, he scrapes by on bitty journalism and ghost writing, with the memoirs of a 24 year-old supermodel presenting a dream solution to his troubles.
A job writing a cheesy soap opera forces him to examine melodramatic clichés however, as well as pairing him with sassy co-writer Wendy (Reilly), who has her own hang ups and unsuitable attractions.
A sequel to Klapisch’s L’Auberge Espagnole, Russian Dolls has an obvious affection its characters, even if it occasionally slips into smugness. But for the most part this is a charming tale of yearning and disappointment, which despite suggesting that only in a fallen world can there be a perfect love, remains sharp in its wider observations on human tendencies for self-sabotage. Kate Taylor