Up for Love make Dujardin appear so small are virtually flawless. But just imagine if a genuinely heightchallenged actor had played the role; would the comedy have worked then?
As it happens, the film, written and directed by Laurent Tirard, is a slavish remake of a successful Argentine comedy of 2013, Corazon de Leon ( Lion Heart), directed by Marcos Carnevale; in that film, too, a popular local actor of “normal” height, Guillermo Francella, portrayed the leading role; Hollywood is not alone in the business of remakes.
Up for Love (the French title roughly translates as “A Man of Stature”) is amiable and sometimes fun. The two leads are good, though some of the minor characters, including the role of Diane’s secretary, played by Stephanie Papanian, are overdrawn.
Structurally, it’s strictly formulaic: the leading characters meet, fall in love, then face problems they eventually overcome, and running gags, such as Alexandre being constantly knocked over by a large dog, are strained. And the nagging feeling remains that for a film that appears to position itself as a comedic assault on political correctness, it pulls too many punches. Dancer is a documentary study of Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin who, at 19, became the youngest principal dancer in the history of Britain’s Royal Ballet.
Drawing heavily on the home movies that Polunin’s family started making when he was young, Steven Cantor’s film is a detailed portrait of an enormously talented artist who seems to have been unable to cope with fame and the separation from his family. The dance scenes are spectacular.
Jean Dujardin and Virginie Efira in