A Very Long Engagement
From the director of Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet), A Very Long Engagement is a French anti-war film with English subtitles that crosses the genres of war, romance and mystery. The film tells the story of Mathilde (Audrey Tautou), a young French woman engaged to a bright and gentle young man named Manech (Gaspard Ulliel). But despite his great love for her, the horror of the first world war forces Manech to leave and fight for his country before keeping his promise of marriage to Mathilde. Hoping for his safe return as the war draws to an end, Mathilde instead discovers that Manech is one of five soldiers who were court-martialed and subsequently pushed out of the French trenches and into enemy territory. Unsure of why he received such a sentence or what his ultimate fate was, Mathilde embarks on a quest for the truth in an attempt to locate her fiancé. Jodie Foster makes a cameo appearance.
This film should have been called the “Very Very Long Movie” since it seems to last forever. I kept thinking, “If my wife offers me a sip of pop before the usher walks in then the film will be over” (You will only get this if you have seen the film). This film is a chick flick. A woman searches for her fiancée when he doesn’t return from the war. She hires a private eye and goes on many trips herself trying to find Manech. They were friends as kids and Manech writes MMM everywhere which means “Manech Marries Mathilde.” Well, the search continues and continues way too long with the story of what happened to five soldiers.
In the middle of this French film with English subtitles, Jodie Foster suddenly appears as a wife of one of the lost men. She is seen having graphic intercourse twice with her husband’s friend, trying to conceive a baby because her husband is not able to father children. Why in the world Miss Foster agreed to be in this film is a mystery, especially since she is depicted in such graphic fashion. My wife liked the film but I found it slow moving and boring. Although there are some funny scenes this most definitely is not a family-friendly film.