Not too sweet, not too sour, but somehow not quite right either. The great performances and quirky story that is brought to you from the heart of Paris is so balanced in its emotional approach that it is hard to describe. It is neither romance nor drama, reality nor fantasy, play nor movie.
But how do you deny performances from Smith (Quartet) and Kline (De-lovely) not to mention Thomas (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)? The three form a solid tripod of joy and misery. Add the always fun Pinon (Micmacs) and the mix is hypnotic, if not even really close to perfect.
After a lifetime in theatre as a writer and director, Horovitz made this his first foray into film. His ability to transform the story from stage to screen is fairly solid. You get the sense of a play at times, but it never falls apart for that. He guides the performances generally well, but the edits, rhythms, and emotional transitions are a bit of a jumble in their effect. Despite that, the story is still entertaining and with hidden depths, and the themes are rich.
You see this movie for the view of Paris and the individual performances, not necessarily for the plot and structure. As a film it has its flaws, but it also has its charms and the cast help tip the balance to make it worthwhile.