Little Known Films: Après Vous

Altruism breeds nothing but trouble for Antoine (Daniel Auteuil), the generous soul at the heart of Pierre Salvadori’s romantic comedy Après Vous. Late for dinner with his girlfriend Christine because he’s stayed after hours lending a helping hand at his brasserie job, Antoine takes a shortcut through the park and stumbles upon Louis (Jose Garcia), a lovelorn sap whose misery over the loss of his girlfriend Blanche has driven him to suicide. Antoine prevents Louis from hanging himself, yet this compassionate act sets in motion a farcical chain of entangled events in which he, Louis, Blanche, and neglected, unhappy Christine — who rightfully resents how much attention her beau lavishes on strangers — all learn about the true nature of friendship and love.

As you’d expect in any French romance, there is a level of sophistication that works well for the story, with an especially refreshing look into the world of sommeliers, s, the restaurant employees that are experts in wines and which ones make the best pairings with certain dishes. Everything feels personalized, the situations are familiar and the background music is that cheerful violin waltz music where you feel it’s all going to be okay by the end of the film. Of course, a film set in Paris automatically makes you feel better about life. In addition to the always solid Auteuil, one of the most acclaimed French actors of his generation, there is also an especially funny, if sometimes disturbing, portrayal of a neurotic lover by Jose Garcia.

In the end, Apres Vous is the very essence of a bourgeois comedy, all about minor annoyances and the healing power of money. The film will be shown at the Palisades Library, in conjunction with Paramount Classics, on Jan, 7th at 5:00 pm.

Honorable Mentions: The Dinner Game (1989) is one of the best French comedies I have ever seen. It is about a competition among a group of friends to see who can find the stupidest person to bring to dinner. Unfortunately we are unable to publically show it. It is, however, available for loan at the library.

Additionally, The Palisades Newsletter would like to thank both Anya Berg and Maria Gagliardi from the library for their tireless efforts in tracking down these little known films and organizing these screenings. Tom Mazziotti

Recent recommendations from Tom Mazziotti

3 Idiots — India
Gemma Bovery – French-British
I Know Where I'm Going – United Kingdom
Monsieur Hire – France
Il Divo – Italy
Tim's Vermeer – Documentary, US
Jodorowski's Dune – Documentary, US
I Knew It Was You-- Documentary, US

All of these films are available in our library.