Va savoir | Chicago Reader

Va savoir

Having won more mainstream accolades than most of his other work combined, this enjoyable romantic comedy by 73-year-old Jacques Rivette may be his first real hit (1991's La belle noiseuse is the only other contender). I can't begrudge this fine director a rare commercial success, but aside from Hurlevent (1985) this is the only one of his 20 features that I have no desire to see again. After showing much distinction as a modernist (1960-'76) and a postmodernist (1978-'98) Rivette has made his first premodernist film: it's fluffy, sometimes funny, and likably acted by Jeanne Balibar, Sergio Castellitto, Marianne Basler, Jacques Bonnaffe, Helene de Fougerolles, and Bruno Todeschini (call it Rivette Lite or, because it involves an Italian production of As You Desire Me being staged in Paris, call it “Six Characters in Search of Billy Wilder”). But it lacks the scariness, the mystery, and even much of the curiosity of Rivette's better work; if you can't stand something like Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974), there's a good chance that you'll love this one. In French with subtitles. 150 min.

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