“Welcome to Hollywood, the land of dreams. What’s your dream?,” the well-known quote goes in “Pretty Woman.” It’s arduous not to think about this hopeful second throughout Lisa Azuelos’ amiable but unambitious and tonally shaky Tinseltown-set romantic comedy “I Love America.” Performed by the alluring Sophie Marceau, a stand-in muse for Azuelos, Parisian movie director Lisa involves the city with one, in search of midlife transformation looking for a contemporary beginning. She feels a little bit caught once we first meet her, and a little bit tore aside about her sophisticated mother’s ailing well-being and numbered days. So what will be higher than relocating to La La Land quickly for some sunshine, a jolt of vitality, and no-strings-attached intercourse after her lengthy interval of draught below the bedsheets?
Loosely impressed by her personal experiences, what Azuelos has in retailer for Lisa couldn’t be breezier expertise, at the very least after her well-known mom passes away in peace, on her personal phrases. (Fortunately, the outdated lady holds out till Lisa may make a quick return to France to say her remaining goodbyes.) Again in Los Angeles, Lisa settles in with one of her greatest associates, a fellow French ex-pat named Luka (Djanis Bouzyani) who apparently scored large in LA together with his well-known drag bar, if his beautiful home with a pool and vintage-style automobile is any indication. It’s amid this beautiful world of refined opulence that Lisa begins contemplating her LA prospects. Positive, it’s all a bit unattainably privileged, however, what hurt is there in admiring her success, and treating the entire thing as an episode of “And Just Like That…,” solely on the other coast?
As a result of actually, there may be little or no else to this meek and cordial rom-com than beautiful actual estates, sunny seashores, restorative hikes, and fancy yoga courses. And it’s considerably enjoyable to be in their presence, particularly for this critic presently on her personal transient Los Angeles tryout. The opposite modest deal with right here is Azuelos’ informal but arresting method to Lisa. At no level does the filmmaker attempt to appear preachy or radical in her quest to make a romantic movie for a few 50-year-old when the style (or no matter’s left of it amid a panorama saturated by superheroes) nonetheless skews younger. She simply permits her character to be who she is and follows her LA escapades each matter-of-factly and with a small dose of inoffensive mischief. Amongst these adventures is clearly courting. Though Lisa insists, “We don’t have the word ‘dating’ in French. We either f**k or we don’t,” she nonetheless permits Luka to create a courting app profile for her. After a particularly disastrous match-up summed up in a single mildly humorous scene and a number of other left swipes, Lisa lastly meets a lot youthful John (Colin Woodell), a textbook good man immediately smitten with Lisa.
Whereas their dates, throughout which the likes of “The Big Lebowski” and “The Way We Were” get title checked and cocktails move on the dance ground, couldn’t be any dreamer, the duo finally have a brief fallout attributable to Lisa’s insistence on conserving it informally. However, neither their transient separation nor their reunion generates a long-lasting emotional impression. One cause is the truth that we by no means actually get to study something substantial about John, a lot that it takes us till the final moments of the movie to lastly imagine that he is likely one of the good ones. Till then, he appears as generic as his title. The opposite cause is the relative clumsiness of their dialogue exchanges which drags down the rhythm of their sexual chemistry. Equally clunky are Azuelos’ flashbacks to Lisa’s childhood, as soon as once more, drawn from her personal reminiscences. After we simply need to be again in LA with Lisa and Luka—he will get his personal storyline too—and groove with the movie’s disco-heavy soundtrack that features bangers from Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer, the filmmaker insists on gradual issues down with mommy points. It could have been one factor if studying Lisa’s childhood troubles with a largely absent mother one way or the other enhanced our window into her LA days. However, in the way in which they’re assembled right here, they appear like distractions.
Nonetheless, there are worse fates than spending a few hours with Sophie Marceau embodying Azuelos’ obvious love for LA and a generally dismissed style. You may want in any other case occasions, however, you’ll be shocked to seek out there isn’t even an oz. of sarcasm embedded within the movie’s title. If something, Azuelos is overly optimistic in regards to the anonymity a sure kind of American way of life permits. Due to that naiveté, “I Love America” is hardly a life-changing rom-com. But it surely’s a very good candidate for your subsequent airplane watch.
Now enjoying on Amazon.