I Do - How to Get Married and Stay Single (Prête-moi ta main)
I Do - How to Get Married and Stay Single (Prête-moi ta main) Made in: France Language: French Director: Eric Lartigau Starring: Alain Chabat, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bernadette Lafont, Grégoire Oestermann Year: 2006
Synopsis: Luis Costa (Alain Chabat) is a 43 year-old bachelor making a good living developing high-profile perfumes. His overbearing mother, Genevieve (Bernadette Lafont), and five sisters are constantly hen-pecking him into getting married.
But Luis has no interest in settling down, since the impossible standards of his mother and siblings frightened off the last woman he was truly in love with (twenty years prior). He's also frightened with the prospect of ending up emasculated like his five brother in-laws, who are often bossed around and openly humiliated by their wives.
But with his family refusing to back down (and going to ridiculous lengths to set him up on dates), Luis comes up with a plan.
He sets up a scheme where he "hires" Emma (Charlotte Gainsbourg), the down-on-her-luck sister of his best friend, Pierre-Yves (Grégoire Oestermann), to pretend to be his latest squeeze. He coaches her on how to behave so as to meet all the near-impossible expectations of his mother and sisters.
Then, the plan is for them to set up a wedding, and instead of saying I Do Emma is to stand him up at the altar.
Luis will pretend to be devastated, and he predicts his family will never bring up the issue of marriage again. The plan is straightforward enough, but of course, a number of unintended, hilarious events start happening as upholding the facade becomes increasingly difficult.
The Good: I Do is full of vivid characters, well-written jokes, and witty dialogue. Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg are very charming as Luis and Emma. And because they, and the rest of the cast, look like ordinary people instead of over-glamorous movie stars, the film has a very down-to-earth feel that most audiences will be able to identify with.
Each of Luis' shenanigans seem to be thought out with care by the writers, as nothing seems by-the-numbers or formulaic. The story's premise has been done before, but director Eric Lartigau goes about the film in a way that makes it seem fresh and original.
The Bad: Certain romantic comedies have "rules," much in the same way that horror movies do. For instance, in a horror movie, if any peripheral character drinks, does drugs, or has sex, chances are those characters will get killed.
In romantic comedies, and I Do is no exception, any plot that involves concocting a fake marriage always results in real romance. In other words, once I Do gets moving, one can guess how it's going to turn out in the very end.
Who would like this movie: This one's for you if you like foreign films or enjoy fun, smart, romantic comedies. I Do is full of witty jokes, great characters, and feel-good moments that aren't too contrived or sickly-sweet.
The characters are believable and it's easy to get drawn into the story. Although the premise is one we've all seen before (and we're pretty sure how it's going to end), the story is set up in such a way that we don't know exactly how the final romantic twist will play out.