When the Cat's Away

The original title of Cedric Klapisch's 1997 comedy is Chacun cherche son chat, a French expression literally meaning “Everyone looks for his own cat.” The searcher in this case—ultimately looking for a boyfriend as well as a pet—is a young makeup artist (Garance Clavel) who shares a flat with a gay man (Olivier Py), leaves her cat Gris-Gris with an elderly cat lover (Renee Le Calm) when she goes off on holiday, and returns to find Gris-Gris missing. Vaguely reminiscent of the 60s English comedy A Taste of Honey, this minor but agreeable charmer offers a much more authentic look at a Paris neighborhood (Bastille in this case) than most French movies; it was enormously successful in France, and given its relaxed populist spirit it isn't hard to see why.

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