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Film Review - Joséphine
updated: Jul 26, 2014, 12:00 PM
By Rosie Sullivan
I do not get many opportunities to see newly released foreign films so was really excited to go and watch a French film entitled Joséphine last week at the Riviera Theatre as part of SBIFF's Wave Festival. Directed by Agnès Obadia and released in 2013, this romantic comedy was more than just a silly love story; it proved how easily one's life can spin out of control.
The film opens with the sound of rain (a recurring element) and the audience sees a lone female walking along a street, completely drenched. A narrator begins to recount how she came to be walking alone in the rain, having lost complete control of her life.
At twenty-nine and three quarters, Joséphine lives alone with her cat, Brad Pitt. She hates her job, her huge derrière, and the married man she sees on Saturdays. She cannot stand the pressure she feels from her parents and perfect sister who all think if she does not find a husband this minute she will end up an old maid and embarrass the family. Joséphine reaches a tipping point when said perfect sister announces her engagement. In a moment of desperation and under the influence of too much champagne, Joséphine blurts out that she too is getting married - to a rich Brazilian surgeon, no less, whom she is moving to Brazil to be with. The consequences of this invented love story come crashing down in a whirlwind of wacky adventures.
Her (little) lie results in a series of unfortunate happenings, from letting herself get fired, to losing her apartment, to having to live undercover in Paris. Joséphine still lives in the same apartment but must carefully avoid her new roommate (at this point, everyone thinks she is living in Brazil) and tip toes around, constantly having to duck behind the furniture. While this is just one of the highly improbable events in the film, it is easy to suspend disbelief for the sole reason that it does not come off as cheesy and overdone. The film is loaded with mishap after comedic mishap - such as a dead dog in her home, tragically bad blind dates, constantly getting stuck in the rain, and waking up in places other than her own bed - but none fall flat.
This rom-com does not follow the same narrative arch that Hollywood films of this genre tend to, which makes it more enjoyable. The film centers on delivering fast-paced, laugh-out-loud comedy instead of focusing on a sappy love story.
I an not usually a huge fan of romantic comedies (unless it is a 1950s Audrey Hepburn film) but do thoroughly enjoy foreign films so was pleased that Joséphine was such fun to watch and even found myself rooting for poor Josephine and her huge butt.
If you're ever in the need of a few good laughs, watch Josephine for some light-hearted fun!
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