Priceless begins as standard, unconvincing, assembly-line French farce and ends as a cop-out, feel-good rom-com. In between, it develops into something considerably more interesting. Audrey Tautou slinks off Amelies ghost as the unrepentant gold-digger Irenewaif-thin and tits outpissed that her partner/benefactor Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff) has fallen asleep drunk on her birthday. In the bar, she finds Jean (Gad Elmaleh)splayed out on the couch, he seizes the opportunity to seem like a rich layabout rather than a bartender. A series of unconvincing events later, Jacques discovers Irenes tryst with Jean, and then Irene discovers Jeans own poverty. Jean ditches his job to follow Irene to Nice, allowing her to bleed him dryfor love on his part, revenge on hersbefore unexpectedly becoming a gigolo for Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam), a widow no less mercenary and exploitative than Irenes series of men. Now colleagues in sexual survivalism, Tautou and Elmaleh give the lengthy middle passage a rancid fascination: Unlike American formula romances, which simply assume that glamour and riches come with the territory, co-writer/director Pierre Salvadori makes explicit how gold-digging undermines both parties. Then everyone lives happily ever after regardless, which is even more cynical.
Pierre SalvadoriAudrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Marie-Christine Adam, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jacques Spiesser, Didier Brice, Annelise Hesme, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Blandine PélissierBenoît Graffin, Pierre SalvadoriPhilippe MartinSamuel Goldwyn Films