Height of ro­mance

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - TARA BRADY

UP FOR LOVE

★★★

Di­rected by Laurent Ti­rard Star­ring Jean Du­jardin, Virginie Efira, Cé­dric Kahn. Club, Light House Cin­ema, D7, 98mins

Suc­cess­ful lawyer Diane (Virginie Efira) is surprised to re­ceive a phone-call at home from Alexan­dre (Jean Du­jardin), a charm­ing fel­low who ex­plains that he’s call­ing from the mo­bile she left on a restau­rant ta­ble fol­low­ing a loud row with Bruno (Cé­dric Khan), her busi­ness part­ner and former hus­band. Mor­ti­fi­ca­tion soon gives way to flirt­ing and the pair ar­range a meet­ing. Alexan­dre turns out to have all the at­tributes we’ve come to as­so­ci­ate with the rom-com: he’s an ar­chi­tect of opera houses so has a large house; he has ac­cess to a plane for sky­div­ing; he’s kind to his lazy house­keeper and un­em­ployed grown-up son. He also has a clas­sic rom-com flaw: he’s really, really short.

Will Diane see past (or over) her new beau’s stature? Will her mother’s jokes about tiny ter­ri­ers wear her down?

This re­make of the 2013 Ar­gen­tine-Brazil­ian film Co­razón de León was a huge hit in France and, be­fore the col­lapse of the for­eign lan­guage movie mar­ket, might rea­son­ably have ex­pected to em­u­late the goofy cross­over ap­peal of Les Visi­teurs (1993) or Wel­come to the Sticks (2008).

Mak­ing ter­rific use of M Du­jardin’s prankster ap­peal – not to men­tion split-screen SFX and giant props that might have been bor­rowed from the Na­tional Leprechaun Mu­seum – Up For Love doesn’t care for ac­cu­rate pro­por­tions when there’s a short gag to be had at its leading man’s ex­pense. (Ac­tual size: 182cm. Movie size: some­where be­tween a quar­ter or a half of his love in­ter­est.)

Is it po­lit­i­cally cor­rect to cast a tall per­son in this role? Or is it po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect to even won­der such a thing? Ei­ther way, if I were a shorter ac­tor, I’d ex­pect a pro­ducer to rock up any time now, with a view to an English lan­guage re­make of this silly, per­fectly like­able con­fec­tion.

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