Rated 4.0

An inept Parisian con man (Jamel Debbouze), pretending to be an American and deep in debt to dangerous men, is driven to contemplate suicide, until he meets a beautiful woman (Rie Rasmussen) who offers to become his guardian angel—literally. Written and directed by the always unpredictable Luc Besson, the movie owes major debts to both Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (with its fateful jump from a bridge) and Wim Wenders’ sublime Wings of Desire (especially in Thierry Arbogast’s black-and-white cinematography, fleecy where Wings was steely). But Besson gives the movie a warmth and charm all its own—made up of equal parts Besson and his two stars. The willowy, leggy Rasmussen and the lumpy, hangdog Debbouze make an amusing visual contrast, and they work together like a veteran vaudeville team.