The Girl From Monaco

The Girl From Monaco movie poster
MPAA rating: R
Genre: Comedy, Foreign
A bodyguard (Fabrice Luchini) tries to protect his stuffy boss from the flirtations of a beautiful meteorologist (Louise Bourgoin).
Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Roschdy Zem, Louise Bourgoin
Director: Anne Fontaine
Running time: 1:35

Editorial Review

"The Girl From Monaco" seems uncannily timed to make the most of recent high-profile peccadilloes: A professional man, infatuated beyond all good sense, faces ruination by hormone. It's an old story. Just look at the papers.

But for all the elasticity of the form, Anne Fontaine's "Girl" is still a cloying bit of business, rarely very funny and never smart enough to make a solid point, at least about anything we don't already know.

Powerhouse lawyer Bertrand Beauvois (Fabrice Luchini), arrives in Monaco to defend a woman (Stphane Audran) accused of stabbing to death her mafioso boyfriend. Given the departed's associations, the defendant's son (Gilles Cohen) hires a bodyguard for the lawyer, a local named Christophe (Roschdy Zem) who seems perfectly capable of fending off all the lawyer's predators but one: Audrey Varella (Louise Bourgoin), a TV weathergirl and sexpot who's as dumb as a bag of doorknobs -- a calculating bag of doorknobs.

Predictably for a Fontaine film, gender relations are a bit gymnastic: Christophe develops from being an all-business protector of Bertrand's life and limbs to one more concerned with his general well-being. Christophe admires his client's skill in court but is bewildered by his lack of romantic judgment. Monaco being the small "rock" it is, everyone knows everyone and Christophe knows Audrey well. Very well. Well enough to know that Bertrand, in his sexually besotted blindness, is going to be taken for a ride.

Audrey isn't evil, but she is stupid and that's almost the same thing. That the Arabic Christophe is the dark angel to Audrey's white devil is an interesting conceit, but not one to support a whole movie. That job really falls to Bertrand, who is a rather unctuous presence and not one we care to see Christophe expend much effort saving. Zem and Bourgoin are great, but the movie is too frivolous to win anything but a dismissal in the court of moviegoer opinion.

-- John Anderson (July 3, 2009)

Contains sexual content and vulgarity. Area theaters.