|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Un Homme à la Hauteur|
|Production country:||Frankreich 2016|
|Running time:||Approx. 99 min.|
Diane (Virginie Efira) is attractive and successful. What more could anyone ask for? But the single woman is not really happy. Because her ex-husband, who is also her partner in the joint law firm, makes her life difficult not only professionally. But suddenly a new man enters her life: Alexandre (Jean Dujardin), a charming architect who found her cell phone in a restaurant. On the phone, he manages to persuade Diane to meet him, which could well turn into a date. But when they come face to face, Diane is astonished: Alexandre is just 1.40m tall. This seems to nip any romantic spark in the bud. Alexandre's easygoing attitude towards his height, however, has an absolutely disarming effect on Diane and for a brief moment it actually seems as if she could fall in love with this man. But when those around her react rather dismissively to the adorable Alexandre, Diane is left to wonder if she has the size to rise above the prejudice and skepticism with which the mismatched pair will likely always be met.
With My Pretty Little Friend, director Laurent Tirard (Little Nick) has achieved a minor feat. For the story could easily have degenerated into a flat embarrassment - especially since no diminutive actor was chosen for the role of Alexandre, but an actor was made smaller with the help of digital technology and camera angles. That could have easily gone in the eye. But the loose, yet very sensitive staging and the good acting of Oscar winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) make this somewhat different romantic comedy work extremely well. The chemistry between Dujardin and Virginie Efira (Pear Pie with Lavender) is perfect, so much so that as a viewer you can relate to Diane's dilemma all too well. You're taken in yourself by Alexandre's charm and the disarming way he handles his height, but you also feel the stares and reservations the two face wherever they go.
It's pleasant that Tirard largely eschews brute slapstick humor. Sure, not every gag here is a prime example of insightful or even profound wit. But overall, Tirard takes a much more sensitive approach here than, say, in his Asterix adaptation, and even leaves a tiny bit of room for very quiet, touching moments. This is positive in the sense that the talent of the two wonderful main actors is not wasted on flat gags and they have enough room to develop their talent in this light comedy.
My Rather Small Friend may not be - if you'll pardon the pun - quite great cinema. But entertaining feel-good entertainment is offered to the viewer all the time. If you like light French romantic comedies and want to leave the cinema in a good mood again, you shouldn't miss this charming film. Absolutely worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp