Russian Dolls (15)

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The Independent Culture

Is this the face of global film-making in the 21st century - a romantic comedy that hops between Paris, London and St Petersburg, switching languages at every turn? Romain Duris, the protagonist of The Beat that My Heart Skipped, plays Xavier, a directionless, atomised hack-writer who attracts a string of unaccountably attractive women, including Audrey Tautou - as gooily winsome as ever - and the excellent Kelly Reilly. They all live in fashionable apartments rather above their income level, like a kind of Euro-Friends.

Xavier meanders from woman to woman, enunciating deep thoughts about the meaning of love as he goes, and the plot meanders along with him. At times, it seems as if Klapisch wants to say something about globalisation, though the main lesson is that young bourgeois bohemians dress the same and are just as self-obsessed and herd-minded the whole world over. But morals are lost among the loose ends and subplots, and Klapisch relies too heavily on Duris's shallow charm. It is a sequel to L'Auberge Espagnole (released over here as Pot Luck), and it's possible that it will make more sense to those who saw the earlier film.

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