Romain Duris is a professional heartbreaker – he breaks people’s relationships for a living. Desperate for money, he must convince Vanessa Paradis to leave her fiancé, but finds himself falling for her instead. Read the review of Heartbreaker for more.
Business rating: 0.5 /5 stars (Half star)
Star cast: Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier, François Damiens, Héléna Noguerra, Andrew Lincoln, Jacques Frantz.
What’s Good: The comic scenes between Julie Ferrier and François Damiens.
What’s Bad: The done-to-death story; the unconvincing wooing; the screenplay of convenience.
Verdict: Heartbreaker is an old story in an old bottle and won’t do anything at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Anytime.
Watch or not?: Only if you are into romantic movies, and have nothing better to watch.
Quad Productions, Script Associés and Focus Features’ Heartbreaker is a French film (dubbed in English) about how a professional breakup artist ends up falling for one of his victims.
Alex (Romain Duris) runs a business of ending people’s relationships, with the help of his sister, Mélanie (Julie Ferrier), and her husband, Marc (François Damiens). Alex takes money from friends of couples who think that the girl and the boy aren’t right for each other. He then courts the girl in the relationship he has to break and convinces her that she deserves a guy better than her current boyfriend. He soon breaks up with the girl but also makes sure that she moves on from her previous relationship. In doing so, Alex takes care not to hurt the person he breaks up with. He also has one important rule – he only splits couples that are unhappy.
When Alex runs into trouble with some loan sharks, he is forced to take up the offer from a wealthy client to break up the impending marriage of his daughter, Juliette (Vanessa Paradis). Short on time, and with the thugs on his trail, Alex finds it all the more difficult to separate Juliette and her fiancé, especially when he finds out that the two are a perfectly happy couple.
Alex pretends to be Juliette’s bodyguard and shadows her, much to her initial annoyance. He pretends to know and like the same things that she does. Soon, Juliette lets her guard down.
Does Alex manage to get Juliette and her fiancé to break up? Or does he leave them in peace? What happens when Juliette finds out that all the similarities between Alex and her were just not true?
Heartbreaker Review: Script Analysis
The story of Heartbreaker, penned by Laurent Zeitoun, is not very original, given the number of films based on the premise of the hero being paid to make the heroine fall in love with him. The screenplay and dialogues (Zeitoun, Jeremy Doner and Yoann Gromb) aren’t very interesting either. For most part of the drama, the chemistry between Juliette and Alex is absent, making the film seem like it is dragging a lot. Even the part where Alex courts Juliette with the dance from Dirty Dancing, is supposed to be romantic, but turns out to be unintentionally funny. The different ways in which Alex tries to win Juliette’s heart are so clichéd that you can predict what is going to happen next.
The writers have also not tried to explain why Juliette would be unhappy with her fiancé, who is absolutely wonderful to her. And why would she fall for someone, whom she knows, has lied to her? Juliette is shown to be too much of a practical person to do so.
Heartbreaker Review: Star Performances
Romain Duris is good as the playboy, but he’s not exactly what you have in mind when you think of a serial heartbreaker. Vanessa Paradis looks gorgeous and does a good job as Juliette. Julie Ferrier (as Mélanie) and François Damiens (as Marc) are lovely together. You can expect a few laughs whenever you see them together on screen. Héléna Noguerra is seductive as Juliette’s friend, Sophie. Andrew Lincoln is alright in a short role as Juliette’s fiancé. Jacques Frantz (Juliette’s father) does an average job.
Heartbreaker Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Pascal Chaumeil’s direction is just okay, but there’s probably not much he could have done with such a bland story and screenplay. Klaus Badelt’s background music is good. The romantic tracks that he has chosen for the film are nice and nostalgic. Thierry Arbogast’s cinematography passes muster. Editing, by Dorian Rigal-Ansous, is okay.
Heartbreaker Review: The Last Word
Heartbreaker will break hearts in India, of the audiences, that is. It is a below-average fare that will prove be a disaster at the Indian box-office.
Heartbreaker released in India on January 13, 2012.