Claude Lelouch created a blockbuster heavy-date film 42 years ago with A Man and a Woman. He crafts a light, enigmatically seductive mystery with Roman de Gare.
By far the most purely entertaining of all his films to reach these shores, Roman de Gare is the rare trick film in which all the tricks reveal something amusing, involving or poignant about its characters.
Fanny Ardant, managing to combine the assurance of a fashionable lady with the allure of a femme fatale, plays a popular novelist whose sudden leap in artistry may be due to the efforts of a ghost writer. Slight, bullet-eyed scene-stealer Dominique Pinon, who knows how to make intense alertness scary-funny, plays the man who may be her ghost writer; but he may merely be her secretary, or a runaway teacher and family man, or even a serial killer. Audrey Dana plays a hairdresser abandoned by her doctor-fiance while en route to her provincial family.
Their orbits break apart, reform and intersect unpredictably. Only when Lelouch completes his pattern do they reveal their true identities, discarding lies, illusions and evasions.
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