Après Vous

Rated 3.0

Pierre Salvadori’s comedy is a generous if trifling romantic farce about how human frailty and self-interest pollute even the most selfless intentions. Antoine (Daniel Auteuil), a kindly restaurateur, saves the lovesick Louis (José Garcia) from suicide and gets stuck as his emotional caretaker. That means comped meals, a job for Louis at Antoine’s restaurant and a rapport developed through exchanges like this: “Stop being nice. You’ll make me cry. I may not even be able to chew.” “Would you like a yogurt?” Having suffered from what Antoine’s impatient girlfriend, Christine (Marilyn Canto), calls “a narcissistic injury,” the already socially inept Louis can’t get over a jilting from his beloved Blanche (Sandrine Kiberlain). Antoine’s goodhearted efforts to reunite them only result in him falling for Blanche himself. The cast basks in Salvadori’s warmth toward his characters. Garcia makes the most—maybe too much—of his mopey woundedness. Helpfully, Auteuil is a minimalist with shtick, and Kiberlain gets the ratio of mystery and open vulnerability just right for seeming believable as an object of obsession. Structurally, Après Vous teeters somewhere between Shakespeare and sitcom, but it rarely seems as overwrought as an American film along the same lines inevitably would.