Directed By: David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos

Starring: Audrey Tautou, François Damiens, Bruno Todeschini, Mélanie Bernier, Joséphine de Meaux, Pio Marmaï, Monique Chaumette, and Marc Citti

France has played a big role in a lot of the great films of 2011.  Whether laying claim to the Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture The Artist or being prominently featured in acclaimed films such as Midnight in Paris and Hugo, France has been the center of attention for the last year or so.  When I heard about the French romantic comedy Delicacy, I began wondering whether it was a hidden gem from France that just didn't make the cut for the fairly strong 2011 awards season.  When I finally saw the movie, all my curiosities were laid to rest. There was a good reason the French didn't let this one loose until now.

Nathalie Kerr (Audrey Tautou) has fallen deeply in love with François (Pio Marmaï).  In fact, she believes he's the love of her life.  When he proposes to her with a keychain in place of a ring, she quickly says yes.  They get married, and things turn tragic when François gets fatally struck by a car.  Nathalie becomes lost and buries herself in work for more than three years.  While she thrives professionally, she struggles to survive personally.  She thinks she will never love again until one day she just explodes and kisses one of her employees in her office.  This gentleman by the name of Markus (François Damiens) just happens to be the one who will prove her wrong.

Delicacy is a decent romance that captures several stages in Nathalie's life.  It begins with her overly fluffy romance with François.  The film then brings the gloom and doom when François gets killed in the accident. Finally, it comes back full circle to the fluff when Markus enters the picture.  It's a nice little neat story that's charming and delivers a few good laughs along the way.  The problem is that it doesn't do anything bold or original.  It's the same movie we've all seen a thousand times.  It's just subtitled in French.

The other problem with the film is that it has to build its story to find humor.  There's nothing really funny about the first third of the film.  The only exception is François' proposal with a keychain, a move I may have to borrow some day.  Aside from that, the film becomes too dark with the death of François.  Directors David and Stéphane Foenkinos forget that they're making a romantic comedy.  They go too deep into despair and spend the rest of Delicacy trying to dig themselves out of this hole.

While Delicacy can be a delightful, charming little film at times, the movie falls victim to the lackluster writing and poor directing by David and Stéphane Foenkinos.  It's a formulaic, overly predictable romantic comedy that gets weighed down by clichés.  With a couple of glasses of Merlot, you can definitely enjoy this one.  Delicacy gets a 0.06% rating.