When the Sea Rises (Quand la Mer Monte...) (NR)

Comedy 93 January 13, 2006
By Melissa Levine
This lovely romantic comedy features French comedian Yolande Moreau as Irene, a performance artist traveling around France to stage her (very weird) one-woman show. When her car breaks down, Irene meets Dries (Wim Willaert), a shaggy-dog scooter driver whose only hint of a profession seems to be creating giant puppets and parading them at carnivals. The two eccentrics are a good match, but Irene is married, so they dance slowly around each other before caving in to romance. The film has a sweet, light touch, centering around two very real people (what a pleasure it is that Irene is neither young nor thin!), and the editing deftly slices each scene down to its essence. There's only one problem: We don't get a sense of Yolande's marriage, so we don't understand the stakes. If she has a good relationship with her husband, what she does with Dries is a serious betrayal; if her marriage is already crumbling, then it's a different story. Or maybe it's just France?
Gilles Porte, Yolande Moreau Yolande Moreau, Wim Willaert, Olivier Gourmet, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Duquesne, Jacques Bonnaffe, Séverine Caneele, Bouli Lanners, Catherine Routier, Martine Delanoy Gilles Porte, Yolande Moreau Humbert Balsan New Yorker Films


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