|Title: Fly me to the Moon (Un plan parfait)|
|Director: Pascal Chaumeil|
|Actors: Diane Kruger, Dany Boon, Alice Pol, Robert Plagnol, Jonathan Cohen|
|Series: Stand alone|
After the well-deserved success of Heartbreaker, its crew (writer, director, producers, technical crew) team up in this finely honed, expertly crafted adventure comedy where romance dukes it out. The magician Pascal Chaumeil teams up with France’s favorite actor of today Dany Boon (Welcome to the Sticks), alongside an explosive Diane Kruger, who may just fall for his charm against all expectations…
Don’t question why; just sit down and enjoy the ride.
So should be the motto of Fly me to the Moon (Un plan parfait), which tells the story of one Isabelle, whose family is under a generations long curse which dooms the first marriage of every daughter, and thus consequently, the success of the second marriage.
Silly? Perhaps. But it does make for an interesting dinner topic. Diane Kruger brings a grounded portrayal to the role of the successful, loyal Isabelle, who doesn’t seem to have any concerns aside from following the routine she and her fiance, Pierre, set out a decade ago. Having been together since their early days in dentistry school, they spend their every minute together in quiet contentment. Their life together has become a routine, and their devotion and commitment to one another was sweet, with barely any problems that I could see. I’ll get to more details in a few paragraphs.
Thus, comes the Main Conflict: their family curse. Isabelle decides to get rid of that pesky ‘first-husband’ problem without Pierre’s knowledge, and here comes the first sucker she could find: Dany Boon as the eccentric, silly but lovable Jean-Yves. Off she goes on a whirlwind trip around the world to win his heart. a marriage and a divorce.
Hijinks ensue among a litany of scenic views, courtesy of Jean-Yves and his tourist guide profession. From the hot, barren plains of Kenya to the snowy blanket adorning the Red Square in Moscow, we follow along as Jean-Yves and Isabelle practice their stalking skills on one another.
And I loved it.
I thoroughly enjoyed their antics, the supporting cast, the visuals, the soundtrack, that it was only when the movie ended that I started to see some problems.
I haven’t watched any of Boon’s portrayals, but he brings a sweet, innocent layer to Jean-Yves, who tends to be abrasive when it comes to his work habits. The film tells me that I’m supposed to be endeared by Jean-Yves actions, but it’s hard to do so when I’m experiencing him through Isabelle. Isabelle, who is not at all tolerant of Jean-Yves or any of his proclivities, yet puts on a barely-convincing mask of love and adoration. There’s not much chemistry between the characters, and this is perhaps a misstep on the directors or writers parts rather than the actors, for spending too much time on Isabelle’s antagonism of Jean-Yves, and not enough on the following pity, understanding and then love. For both actors excelled in their craft, so much that I’m unable to buy their love story.
Though in the end, I did, if only because they had gone through so much, and I wanted so much to believe in the power of love.
Along with some choppy editing between tonally different scenes that gave the audience a palpable pause, there were several problems to highlight. The more I thought about it, the more the character inconsistencies stood out. Why would a seemingly content, rational woman up and leave her fiance and their decade long relationship for a man she met on a trip, in a guise meant to fool him for her own selfish desires? Her decision to stay with him spoke less of love and adventure, and more a misplaced sense of guilt and a renewed longing for adventure.
The best of movies is not one that captures its viewers with its cinematography, scenic locations or with music played at the right time, but with the sincerity of the characters’ intentions behind their actions. No matter how beautiful the portrayal of the character is, if it doesn’t stand up to some scrutiny–where the underlying question of the character’s motivation is not answered–you still have a visually enchanting, witty movie.
Just one with no soul.