Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris: just say non.
MOOD INDIGO (Michel Gondry). 95 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (August 15) at the Royal Cinema. See Indie & Rep Film. Rating: N
Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo is adapted from Boris Vian's 1957 novel L'Écume Des Jours, but it's a Gondry joint through and through.
The story tracks the doomed romance of Colin (Romain Duris) and Chloé (Audrey Tautou). He's independently wealthy, and she's one of those French gamines who exists to be wooed. They meet, they have a lovely date, and on their honeymoon she contracts a strange disease that sees a water lily flowering in her right lung. Ah, non!
It's supposed to be whimsically tragic, I guess. But Gondry fixates on the whimsy and keeps piling it on in every scene: alarm clocks run around on little metal spines; human operators must look up your web request and type a reply to you; a new dance requires you to elongate your legs so they become long rubbery tubes. Even Colin's pet mouse is actually a tiny man in a mouse suit, though that apparently comes straight from the book.
Some filmmakers can imbue insistently childish imagery with genuine feeling. Hell, Gondry himself did it in the remarkable Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. But that film had Charlie Kaufman's dark, thorny script as its foundation, and Mood Indigo's text isn't nearly as solid.
It's just an endless cascade of adorable horseshit.