COMEDY UNEASY RIDERS (NATIONALE 7) (15) 95 mins 00..
Taboo-breaking comedy about sex and disability Based on a true story, this wry comedy set in a home for the physically and mentally handicapped near Toulon might not sound like an obvious crowd- pleaser, but the award-winning feature of French director Jean-Pierre Sinapi relishes overturning audience preconceptions.
The cantankerous Réné (superbly played by Dardenne brothers regular, Olivier Gourmet) is a former union activist, now confined to a wheelchair with a wasting disease, who's determined to get laid before his condition deteriorates even further. Julie (Nadia Kaci) is the inexperienced new nurse, who decides to find a prostitute prepared to satisfy Rene’s sexual needs, and to the dismay of her bosses, sounds out a hooker who plies her trade from a caravan beside the Nationale 7 road. Meanwhile back at the centre Rabah (Said Taghmaoui), a gay Muslim with a Johnny Halliday fixation, is seeking to be converted to Catholicism . . .
Originally made for television, Uneasy Riders was shot on digital video by Breaking The Waves cinematographer Jean-Paul Meurisse, and the agile
camerawork helps immerse us in the experiences of the residents and staff.
Cheerfully dismantling taboos around the sexuality of disabled people, Sinapi assuredly juggles a number of plot-lines and clearly retains a generous affection for his array of characters in their various quests for love. A memorable touch is the delightful coda which reveals the real-life individuals who inspired the on-screen events. (Tom Dawson)
I Film/rouse, Edinburgh from Fri 30 Mar. See prevrew. page 26.
ROMANTIC COMEDY THE WEDDING PLANNER (PG) 103 mins 00
American Mary Fiore who. in a stroke of the kind of overexposed irony so beloved by Hollywood's chattering classes. plans other people's weddings.
When a handsome doctor (Matthew McConaugheyI saves her from certain death at the hands of a dumpster (which is apparently what Americans call a rubbish bin on wheelsl. her troubles seem to be over. That. of c0urse. is overlooking the fact that her grizzly father has just hooked her up with comedy Italian Massimo. and that McConaughey is engaged to be married in a ceremony organised by Lopez herself.
The lit/edging P/anner is certainly predictable. but the romantic comedy is rarely the most radical of genres. and the lively first half eprOits inadvertent moments of intimacy. the comedy Italian and Lopez's ample backside to full effect. But the paCing gets sluggish as the wedding belts start to chime. and dubious acting combine wrth every cliche in the book to make this an ultimately forgettable movie. (James Smarti I General re/ease from Fri 6 Apr.
Romantic comedies are filled with
beautiful people who can't get dates. Quite where these people are in the real world when the rest of us need them is difficult to fathom. but that. as they say. is life. Jennifer Lopez. hot from dumping Puff Daddy and scorching the trans-Atlantic pop charts. is the latest absurdly attractive babe to have trouble in the romance department. She plays Italian-
28 THE LIST 29 Mar—12 Apr 2001
Ra'on mm (15) 105 mins .0
In a uif'ie' odd sex comedy that}: 'reitiiw ’Li'tr‘.\. her sexy. Irish. writer director Gerard Steii‘i‘iiage shuns the moral h gt‘ g'ea'id of the classic roiri-eoii‘ i(‘tl“tl a to suggest that infidelity i‘ari :n fact he a good thing. Ourte liberating. I‘ tact. Sterr‘hridge initially toys with the contentions of the hay meets girl stereotype. introducing us to the lovely Lui‘y Owens (Kate Iludsoni as she meets the mysterious Adam (Jude Law lookalike Stuart Townsend: against the backdrop of a moi‘lern day Dublin. A y'i.'liir|yyiind roiirance ensues and aftm a good half an hour of saccharine sweetness culminating in a marriage proposal. Steiiibridge is ready to get his subversiye riiissioii under‘isxay. Predictably enough there’s more to Lucy 's young fiance than meets the eye and it takes four different perspectiyes, given by her three stunning sisters and her trusting
DRAMA THE LOW DOWN (18) 96 mins 0...
Occasionally a little lll(t‘.'l(} comes along that stains the mind and stays wrth one for a long time. because it shares With the viewer the total exasperation and alienation of a iiiisspent youth and the aching passage to iiiatuiity. Advert pop promo director Jamie 'l'hraves' first
Hudson, neither sexy nor funny
hrother. to drsix‘ye' li's t'iie \irs With the best intei‘itiivis, Adair» .'.iir‘t:; to give ‘.'.'ori‘eri what the. want .i'iil while, he attl‘. Il‘it'lilili‘-fl tn ir‘tiitle the liyes at the Owens siste's passion. an urii‘oiiyi'iciiiii gii‘k \’ moral ’ittre arid a distirii‘t absence ot humou' leaxes tl‘e filri‘ high and iiry iCather'irie Broi'iley‘
Isimreminds.) ii .
A little gem
feature is such a film and it is a delight that makes a great itoiirpariioii pi. "It: to Michael \N/iiiterbottoiri's egually' Loiidoiiceritiic I'L/o/iderlarid.
Frank (Arden Gillanl is a proriiising sculptor cuiiiriiiodel maker who itlllif ls guir'ky set pieces for cheap late night TV shows. Ilis evenings itlf: spent on the piss With friends and flatmates r'eliying his long gone student days. l ranks
atterripts to grow up are centred round his new girlfriend
a kind-hearted estate
agent called Ruby (Kate Aslifield ~ excelleiiti. but I rank still has to deal ‘.‘.’llil his toxrc-iiiduced urban paranoia, his lack of coriirriunicatiiin skills and a deeply ingrained selfishness. Like Truffaut's Dorriicii'e (Iori/i/ga/ this is about the gap between late adolescence and mature resignation. A film about the iriiiiiitiae or
behavrour —- this is a little gem. (Paul Dalei
I OFT. G/asgoit' from Mon 2 Apr.
CHILDREN'S ANIMAI ION RUG-RATS IN PARIS (U) 77 mins .00.
The antics of those diaper—clad under 5s. TOlllllly’. Chuckre. Dil. Phil and Lil. and tormenting big cousin Angelica. make a great kids cartoon. And like The Sirrrpsoris it succeeds on an adult level too. wrth its witty dialogue and salutary l'(3ll‘.lll(i(}l'f3 to gi'oi.-~.in-ups of Just how odd the world can some to young children.
Better than its predecessor. Rug/(its In Paris has the gang descending on Euroreptarland iread Eurodisneyi. where conniving Angelica fixes up motherless Chuckre and his gullible
father. Chas. with the villainous Coco La Bouche (Susan Sarandorii '.‘/llf) hates children. To save Chuckre the kids hiiack the giant robotic Reptar and race for
Notre Dame to stop the yaredding.
Chuckie's longing for an absent parent lends the poignancy to proceedings. Jokes about 'our oui's. pants and the kind of farts yeti can do in the bath abound. and for the slightly more sophisticated there's some welcorr‘e pastiche of Disney and more than a nod to Godzilla. King Kerig and The Godfather. This is lively. well-paced entertainment for younger children. and Just smart enough for most
adults. i’Kate Edeni I General rerease fie/rt Fri 6 Apr: