Romantic comedies aren’t known for their unconventionality. There’s the meet-cute, the (often ridiculously contrived) premise to get the two leads together, the last act reveal, the grand romantic gesture. It Boy is no different in this regard; David Moreau’s rom-com ticking all the boxes. Its two-pronged premise – that late-thirties magazine editor Alice Lantis is old, boring and unattractive (Virginie Efira looks like a supermodel, whatever her age), and that she must date barely-legal Balthazar Apfel (Pierre Niney, who looks like a combination of Parks and Recreation’s Jean Ralphio and his sister) in order to impress her boss – is as implausible as they come, and it doesn’t shy away from rom-com clichés in its final minutes.
Rom-com’s popularity may be waning, but It Boy demonstrates why the very conventional formula works. It’s not the blueprint, it’s the execution. Moreau pulls together a zippy, lightweight comedy with an endearing pace – we cut from scene to scene with a rhythm that keeps the audience smiling with little regard for continuity or narrative logic. The standout of It Boy is Efira. She sells every implausibility of the screenplay thanks to an easy chemistry with Niney and an aura of sexiness and lively comic charm.