Friday, June 20, 2008

Priceless (Hors de Prix) DVD

Headline: French Farce Revolving around Case of Mistaken Identity Comes to DVD

Gold digger Irene (Audrey Tautou) is staying at a posh resort with Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff), an elderly sugar daddy who has just proposed to her. But after the old coot falls asleep, the gypsy-like Jezebel slips out of bed in the middle of the night and heads down to the hotel’s lounge to see if she can find an even wealthier sucker to put a ring on her finger.
There, she starts flirting with Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a shy nerd she mistakes for an obscenely rich guest, when in fact he happens to be just a broke bartender. Excited that this gorgeous young woman finds him attractive, he does nothing to clear up the confusion.
Instead, he uses his connections to gain access to the penthouse suite in order to further impress her. And only after she’s seduced the impostor into a session of passionate lovemaking does the shameless hussy realize that for once the tables have been turned on her.
This is the messy point of departure of Priceless, directed by Pierre Salvadori (Apres Vous), a complicated, class-conscious French farce which features more coupling and uncoupling than you might care to keep track of. For, as the plot thickens, Irene and Jean not only remain romantically involved, but they also decide to date any rich retirees willing to let them live in the lap of luxury.
Though these conniving crooks are initially totally unsympathetic, there’s enough character development that you ultimately actually feel empathy for their plight as working-class heroes. Somehow a materialistic, sex-industry slut magically transforms before your eyes into a spiritual soul capable of following her heart and riding off into the sunset on the back of a scooter with an equally-disgusting gigolo.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for nudity and sexuality.
In French with subtitles.
Running time: 104 minutes
Studio: Panorama
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes, “Behind-the-Scenes” and “The Making of” featurettes, and the original theatrical trailer.

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