The Girl From Monaco

THE GIRL FROM MONACO (Anne Fontaine). 95 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (July 24). For venues, times, and trailers, see Movies..


THE GIRL FROM MONACO (Anne Fontaine). 95 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (July 24). For venues, times, and trailers, see Movies. Rating: NN

THE GIRL FROM MONACO (Anne Fontaine). 95 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (July 24). For venues, times, and trailers, see Movies.

The Girl From Monaco is a tease, in more ways then one. Yes, the title character is a major manipulator, sexually speaking, but the film itself never delivers on all its promise.

As soon as he arrives in Monaco to take up a murder case that might be Russian Mafia-related, famed lawyer Bertrand (Fabrice Luchini) gets saddled with bodyguard Christophe (Roschdy Zem). When Bertrand starts falling for ultimate party girl Audrey (Louise Bourgoin), Christophe steps in and starts taking his role a little too seriously.

There’s supposed to be some connection between the motives of the defendant in the trial and the fact that Bertrand’s life is spinning out of control, but it’s elusive. And we’re meant to think Audrey’s setting up Bertrand, but we don’t know how. The script, co-written by director Anne Fontaine, doesn’t fill in any blanks.

And there are so many tonal shifts, you can get a little dizzy. The film works best as an anti-buddy-comedy about a suave, articulate lawyer and his taciturn bodyguard, then shifts suddenly to thriller mode with a subtext of male mid-life-crisis drama thrown in.

Though Luchini is endearing, he can’t make the situation in which a guy falls for a ditzy younger babe anything more than hopelessly dreary.

SUSAN G. COLE

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