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February 11, 2020

The Trouble with You

trouble with you.jpg

En Liberte
Pierre Salvadori - 2018
Kino Lorber R1 DVD

The trouble with The Trouble with You is that it tries too hard to be funny. The film begins with a police bust. The apartment door bursts open with a big explosion, and the lead cop finds a few seconds between shooting the felons to take a selfie with his phone. Beaten, bruised and knifed, this unstoppable cop is able to leap from the window of the tall apartment building straight into a convertible directly below him. It's then revealed that what we've seen is a version of the cop's adventures as told by his wife to their wide-eyed young son.

The cop, Santi, has been dead for two years, and his wife Yvonne, a police lieutenant, discovers by chance that the man whom everyone thinks of as heroic has actually been on the take. A jewelry store hold-up from 2009 was not only an inside job, but the person convicted was an innocent employee, Antoine. Yvonne decides to make it her mission to rehabilitate Antoine who has just been released from prison. The problem is that Antoine has decided to embark on a life of petty crimes and anti-social behavior.

Filmed around Marseilles, the story takes place in provincial town that's quirky enough to include a well-furnished S & M brothel, and a mild-mannered murderer who totes around the remains of his mother. Santi's police force partner, Louis, is so infatuated with Yvonne that he's oblivious in the presence of the felon he's suppose to be hunting. There are several moments of violence that are brutal enough to undercut writer-director Salvadori's overall comic tone.

Best known as the muse in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Adele Haenel starred in this earlier film. While mostly known for dramatic roles, Haenel previously showed off her comic chops in Love at First Fight as a young woman showing off her survivalists skills against a would-be boyfriend. Haenel is especially sweet in the scenes with her onscreen son, as well as expressing her dismay at discovering the truth about her husband. Audrey Tautou, a previous collaborator with Salvadori, appears in a supporting role as Antoine's very patient girl friend.

Much like the those moments of tonally ill-fitting violence, The Trouble with You is a bit heavy-handed with some of the gags when whether in scenes of action or comedy a lighter touch would do.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at February 11, 2020 07:42 AM