Under the Rainbow
PRODS Jean-Philippe Andraca, Christian Bérard
SCR Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnès Jaoui
CAM Lubomir Bakchev
ED Fabrice Rouad
PROD DES François Emmanuelli
MUS Fernando Fiszbein
PROD CO Les Films A4 / France 2 Cinéma / Memento Films / La Cinéfacture / Herodiade
All of the fairytale archetypes—be they wolves or fairy godmothers—are present in Agnès Jaoui’s (The Taste of Others) delightful comedy. However, as a beguiling ensemble of lovelorn Parisians navigate their romantic entanglements, the playful narrative skirts conventional happily-ever-afters and steers itself into far more realistic and rewarding territory. Laura (Agathe Bonitzer) is young, hopeful and naïve: she wants her Prince Charming and thinks she has found him in Sandro (Arthur Dupont). Extending out from this couple is a network of relatives, friends and acquaintances that bridges gaps of class and generation.
Jaoui and screenwriting partner Jean-Pierre Bacri make a wonderful team. Actors in their own films—here they play Laura’s aunt and Sandro’s father respectively—they’ve established themselves as masters of the Gallic rom-com. This, like all their collaborations, is witty and warm, full of rich characterizations and marked by a rueful but forgiving attitude towards humanity. What’s new for them is the complex, layered story structure, with destinies converging and clashing among a large cast. It’s deftly handled, as are the storybook graphics that mix with the modern setting. These fairytale references serve to remind us how old—and how important—the issues are.