Heartbreaker

How can this man destroy this woman's engagement and thereby collect 50,000 Euros from her father?

Looking for a funny movie? A wonderful romantic comedy? One with terrific direction, great dialogue, magnificent locations, attractive premise, sight gags and appealing actors? Look no further, for Heartbreaker (2010) is your kind of film.

Alex (Romain Duris) and his sister and brother-in-law — Mélanie and Marc — own a very small, very specialized business. They break people up. That is, they break up couples, but only where the woman is unhappy. They have their ethics (they won’t divide people on racial or religious grounds), and their motive (money, of course). Their technique: seduction. By Alex, that is – only, once he’s attracted the woman and assured her that she deserves the best in love, he relinquishes her with a tear in his eye, claiming that it’s too late for him, his heart was broken long ago. She leaves her current jerk of a boyfriend, Alex collects his fee from the woman’s father/brother/concerned friends, and everyone’s much happier.

Except that this case is rough. Juliette (Vanessa Paradis, dressed in scrumptious couture that Miranda Priestly’s staff would kill for) is engaged to Jonathan, who’s basically a saint. Juliette seems happy, so why is her dad putting up 50,000 Euros for Alex’s services? Alex, who pretends to be a bodyguard, can’t figure it out. And his usual scam develops three huge challenges: the loving couple’s wedding is in just a few days, Juliette’s best friend lusts after Alex, and he himself is falling for . . . Juliette.

How Alex carries out his assignment, avoids death by bruiser, and manages to pull off a Dirty Dancing coup that even Patrick Swayze would approve – well, you’ve got to see Heartbreaker to believe it.

Yes, the film’s mostly in French (with a bit of English and Italian tossed in). So? Even if your high school French was really Spanish, you can read, and there are subtitles. But I bet you’ll barely need them. Much of this film translates well, and once you accept the premise, you’ll be on the edge of your seat to see how Alex plays it out.

Love, humor, fast cars, the sea, beautiful Monaco . . . what’s not to love?

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