The directorial debut of French actor Yvan Attal, "My Wife is an Actress" sees Attal himself as a sportswriter named Yvan, who's married to an actress called Charlotte, played by Attal's off-screen wife Charlotte Gainsbourg. Clearly this is a film encouraging us to make connections between art and life.
Beginning with a black and white sequence involving stills of female stars from Hollywood's Golden Age, the film is narrated by the jealous Yvan, who's becoming increasingly irritated by Charlotte's celebrity status. She attracts autograph hunters and the stares of passers-by, but there are compensations - policemen will let her off driving offences, and there's no problem in gaining a table at her favourite restaurant.
Her husband however gets asked by new acquaintances whether or not Charlotte sleeps with her co-stars, and what he feels when seeing her naked on-screen. And when she travels to England to shoot a feature with a suave English actor (Stamp), he becomes convinced that she will embark on an extra-marital affair.
On this evidence Attal is a poor man's Woody Allen when it comes to portraying comic self-loathing. A sketchy, only occasionally diverting comedy, "My Wife is an Actress" is weakened by its tiresome sub-plot about Yvan's stereotypically Jewish sister arguing with her husband about the circumcision of their son, and wastes the talents of Ludivine Sagnier as an acting student besotted with Yvan.
Heavy-handed touches such as the choice of The Clash's "London Calling" on the soundtrack for trips on the Eurostar to the English capital betray the lack of invention. The three leads produce adequate performances, but what's missing from this material is any depth of feeling, an absence confirmed by the unconvincing resolution.
In French with English subtitles.