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Much like the process of psychotherapy, patience is required for results while watching this modestly entertaining slow-burn Parisian romance from Cédric Klapisch, who pulls off a neat trick by bumping the meet-cute to the end of the film.
What happens before his protagonists clap eyes on each other is a kind of emotional spring clean. Both of them, a man and woman in their early 30s, are struggling with anxiety and stress; they find their way to therapy and sift through their secrets and problems, and then, when they are emotionally shipshape … bang! Cupid strikes. It’s a nice idea – but the delay doesn’t do much for dramatic tension, and Klapisch’s shallow observations about loneliness and atomisation in the city don’t help.
Ana Girardot is Mélanie, a research scientist who’s become insular and withdrawn since breaking up with her boyfriend. Her neighbour, Rémy (François Civil), is an insomniac factory worker. The pair live next door to each other but have never met, though Klapisch repeatedly shows them staring wistfully out of adjacent balconies or walking past each other. After a panic attack on the Métro, Rémy is referred to a psychotherapist at the local hospital – a sterile institutional setting compared with the rooms where Mélanie’s therapist works, with Farrow & Ball-painted walls and a velvet couch just like Freud’s.
Rémy’s first halting meetings with his shrink (François Berléand) are enjoyable to watch. Mélanie, meanwhile, explores her past relationships with her chic psychotherapist (Camille Cottin) who dispenses wisdoms from behind clouds of cigarette smoke. The dialogue between the therapists and clients is thoughtfully written, and there’s a poignant scene in which the two therapists bump into each other at a retirement do.
• Someone Somewhere is released in the UK on 15 November.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Someone, Somewhere review – slow-burn Parisian therapy romance | Romance films