A Faithful Man is a delightful rom-com in disguise
|© Kino Lorber|
by Justin Moore
The first time I saw Louis Garrel on screen was when he starred in the 2003 film The Dreamers. He starred alongside Eva Green, who played his twin sister. While living in Paris, they start a relationship with a California student named Matthew. The movie was full of threesomes and incest and all I can say that it was an experience.
While spending many years as a popular French movie star, Garrel took on a director’s position with his 2015 film Two Friends. Garrel stars, directs, and co-writes the story of his newest film, A Faithful Man, with legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere. Garrel stars as Abel, a journalist living with his girlfriend Marianne in Paris, France. She informs him that she is pregnant, and he isn’t the father of the child. The father is a mutual friend and she wants Abel to move out within ten days so she can get married to the father of her unborn child. The conversation is very mature and happens all so fast that you don’t expect any hard feelings amongst the two.
The film fast forwards nine years later when Marianne’s husband, Paul, dies in his sleep. Abel attends the funeral out of respect and reconnects with his old flame. Her young son (Joseph Engel) is convinced that his mother poisoned his father which resulted in his death. From the beginning of the film to the start of Marianne and Abel’s new relationship, the film sets itself up as a drama focusing on rekindling love but all of that was a front for clever romantic comedy.
The scenes between Abel and Marianne were more on the dramatic side. Marianne, played by Laetitia Casta, who is married to Garrel in real life, has great chemistry with him. It is easy to say that they worked well together since they are married but the two do a fine job at falling back in love with each other, which is easily the most endearing thing about the film.
Most of the comedic moments come from Marianne’s son and Eve (Lily-Rose Depp), who is the late husband’s sister. Eve had a crush on Abel since she was a kid and now that he has returned and she is older, she sees it as a chance to confess her love. What is even funnier is Marianne’s young son is convinced that he his mother killed his dad and how he tries to persuade Abel of all of this. His interactions with Abel is what makes the film turn from a sweet drama to an engaging rom-com.
A Faithful Man is a beautiful look at rekindling relationships but also manages to provide humor in the film. Garrel packs a lot in this short film, which clocks in at 75 minutes long. Garrel is a talented actor, and he is a talented director. There were many moments when Garrel captured an intimate look at Paris by using long takes and wide shots. I was immediately impressed with how Garrel showed the city in his opening sequence and from there on he continued to craft a charming rom-com.
|© Kino Lorber|