Light, fluffy and deliciously decadent, Pas Sur La Bouche! has all the indulgent naughtiness of an overstuffed chocolate eclair. Based on a 1920s operetta by André Barde, this romantic musical comedy is a jaunty revival of old-fashioned French farce. Sabine Azéma stars as Gilberte Valandray, a married woman whose high society life is thrown into chaos when her American ex-husband arrives in Paris. Audrey Tautou and Isabelle Nanty are among the actors caught up in the comedy hi-jinks and musical numbers.
Life ain't simple in this farcical comedy. Determined to keep her present husband (Pierre Arditi) from finding out that she was married before, Gilberte faces a crisis of epic proportions. Fortunately her ex's French isn't up to much, which gives her a chance to pull the wool over her hubby's eyes while fending off the advances of her insistent admirers.
Gilberte isn't the only one with problems. Young Huguette (Amelie star Tautou) is desperately in love with pretentious "CooCooist" artist Charley (Jalil Lespert), but he's blind to her charms because he's still chasing Gilbrete's skirts.
Peppered with inconsequential musical numbers about unwelcome guests, love affairs, and modern art, this is a triumph of style over substance. Director Alain Resnais - the filmmaker behind such landmark works of French cinema as Hiroshima Mon Amour and Last Year At Marienbad - is clearly letting his hair down after six years absence from the cinema screen. The result is lightweight fun. Nothing more, nothing less.
With just a hint of the camp of François Ozon's musical throwback 8 Women and the playfulness of Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You, Resnais recreates the art deco world of the 1920s stage, faithfully recycling librettos from the period along the way. It's definitely an acquired taste, but it's hard not to fall for a film that deadpans delirious lyrics like "Dadaism is over and out. Cubism has had its day/Nowadays without a doubt CooCooism's the way."
In French with English subtitles.