become a Patreon patron

film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Shall We Kiss? (review)

Émilie (Julie Gayet) and Gabriel (Michaël Cohen) have just had a lovely evening together: it didn’t start out romantic, just one stranger doing a favor for another, but it’s threatening to end that way when he requests a good-night kiss from her. She must refuse, because she and Gabriel are both already involved with others, and a similar simple kiss caused enormous trouble for two of her friends. This charming and tender and wisely funny movie shifts then to Émilie’s tale of Judith (Virginie Ledoyen: Bon Voyage) and Nicolas (writer-director Emmanuel Mouret), best platonic friends whose relationship becomes something more when he starts having trouble with his sex life and looks to her for a jump-start cure. Can friends become lovers? Of course they can… but what if one of them is already spoken for? Here’s a romantic comedy like Woody Allen might make if he were a young man again today, one that respects the power of physical attraction and wraps itself up in the awkward sweetness of burgeoning love and sexual discovery. And the way Mouret postpones the inevitable — or is it? — kiss between Émilie and Gabriel is a masterful creation of amorous suspense that is both old-fashioned — could a mere kiss really work as a cinematic climax in the 21st century? — and thoroughly modern, because it’s not the product of film-code censorship but a recognition that just because anything goes doesn’t mean it has to.

When you purchase or rent almost anything from Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and iTunes (globally), you help support my work at Flick Filosopher. Please use my links when you’re shopping at either service. Thank you!

watch at home

MPAA: not rated

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap