“The most popular film in the 27-year history of the French Film Festival!” trumpets the Australian DVD release of Rosalie Blum. Having seen the film, it’s an entirely believable claim. Rosalie Blum is an unashamed crowdpleaser, offering mystery, broad comedy and the kind of buoyant happy ending that prompts post-film recommendations. (Indeed, a colleague of mine went out of their way to vouch for the film earlier this year.)
The story, in which a hairdresser named Vincent (Kyan Khojandi) begins (lightly) stalking the titular grocery-shop owner (Noémie Lvovsky), is immediately engaging but proves far more innocent than you might initially expect. Indeed, the film’s primary pleasures are found in its midsection as it reveals Ms Blum is not quite as unaware of Vincent’s attentions – though the true reason for his obsession is held for the final frame. The third act is less amusing, less mysterious and a little drawn out, but it does feature a very cute (cuddly lion) dog.
Is Rosale Blum a masterpiece of French cinema? Nah. But if you missed the film at its French Film Festival or subsequent summer screenings, it’s a winning way to spend an easy afternoon. Nothing too challenging … nor too memorable.