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Heartbreaker review

by Andy Gibbons

What is it?

A hugely successful romcom which has gone down a storm in its native France.

Alex (Romain Duris) has a way with women, a way which he has turned into a profession as he, with the help of his sister and brother-in-law, uses his charm, good looks and wit (and any other advantage he can gain) to break up couples for a living. But the team have a strict moral code; they will only interfere when it is obvious that the woman is unhappy (knowingly or unknowingly) in the relationship. However needs must and when an unpaid debt sees Alex in danger of losing some limbs, he takes on a job to wreck the upcoming wedding of Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) and all round good egg Brit Jonathan (Andrew Lincoln) but the closer Alex gets to his prey, the more complicated things become.

What’s good?

Duris is certainly a worthy leading man and makes Alex a likeable character. He and a well cast Paradis play off each other well and their Dirty Dancing routine may well make a few potential brides melt in the middle. Much of the action is based in Monaco which, let’s face it, is impossible to make look bad on screen so allow yourself to soak up the Principality in all its glory as Alex and Juliette explore.

What’s bad?

While I see why they can be conceived as necessary, the husband and wife combo who back Alex up on his jobs feel a bit forced – the husband especially is thrown in as the comic relief, comic relief which for me just wasn’t that funny. And the pacing is all over the place – the first hour whizzes by while the remaining 45 minutes drag on and on and on.

So basically…..

Heartbreaker starts really well; a little adventure in Morocco followed by a montage of some of Alex’s recent jobs sets the tone well and the whole idea is certainly a very fun concept. However once Alex starts to fall for Juliette and the ‘rom’ part of the ‘romcom’ kicks in, things lose some momentum and it all gets a bit predictable. Still it’s bright and breezy enough to raise a smile so, as a date movie, you could do a lot worse. And given its success, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that a US remake is already in the pipeline.


Heartbreaker is in UK cinemas from July 2nd


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