Not one of the most memorable films in the careers of François
Périer or Arletty, L'Amour,
nonetheless has some charm on account of the indefinable
chemistry between these two stars of French cinema. It's a happy
reunion, presumably since Arletty starred in the first two films in
which Périer appeared, namely Jean Boyer's La Chaleur du sein
Marcel Carné's Hôtel du nord
(1938). At 32, Périer is patently too old to be convincing
as a gauche young college boy, but Arletty is as stunning as ever,
looking delightfully warm and approachable as she plays herself.
Without these two superb performers, the film would be virtually
unbearable, and, as it is, it is one of Gilles Grangier's weakest
comedies. Based on the play Vingt
by Félix Gandéra and Claude
Gével, L'Amour, Madame
is a pedestrian offering in the A
Star is Born
line, its implausible, ill-conceived plot
aggravated by a lacklustre script and some stilted direction from
Grangier. Guest appearances from Marcel Achard, Yvonne de Bray,
Danièle Delorme and Jean Marais (among others) look like a
pointless embellishment to the most facile of comedies.
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François Célerier is a young university student who hopes
to make his name as a playwright...