Delicacy review

Following the death of her husband a woman falls for an unlikely new suitor.

Another Audrey Tautou vehicle, this is significantly better than her last banger but comes with a new set of problems. This isn’t as “outrageous” a comedy although a “romantic comedy” apparently it intends to be, complete with a light tone throughout, skipping along with a merry soundtrack. But how does that approach cope with a subject like bereavement? How, when this is set up as a serious theme (the husband doesn’t exactly die as a result of slipping on a banana only to have an Acme piano fall on his head) does a romcom deal with death? The answer is simple, it seams - it just glosses over it.

So Delicacy doesn’t so much fail to achieve depth, it doesn’t make much of an attempt to plough depths in the first place and what we’re left with is a peculiar marriage of lead-heavy subject and feather-light treatment.

The lead actors and their characters are fine enough - both charming in their own way - even though they lack some chemistry, in part due to an inadequate establishment of their relationship. But rather than focus on inner-turmoil and awkward new feelings (making the characters cry and say “oh, this is difficult” every now and then isn’t enough), the writer-director(s) are more interested in showing peripheral characters’ gobsmacking shock at how an angel like Tautou can fall for an oaf like Fran├žois Damiens. Over and over and over again. Damn, we get it, OK? How ridiculous everyone is! Ohohoho. Everyone’s shallow and shit except for the wonderful leads! Ohohoho. What’s that? Someone died? Oh, I forgot about that.

These criticisms are born out of frustration more than anything. The premise is decent and a firmer step in a slightly different direction could have lead to something much more successful. As it is, instead of a thoroughly credible, moving, humorous dramatisation of a difficult but intriguing subject, Delicacy is a just-about-decent trivial comedy. With a bit of anguish thrown in.

3 out of 5

19th Apr 2012 | On IMDb