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About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By Marcy Dermansky


Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis in 'Heartbreaker'

Pascal Chaumeil's romantic comedy Heartbreaker is unapologetically silly. French actor Romain Duris (Dans Paris, The Beat My Heart Skipped often takes on somber roles, but as Alex Lippi, he is an utter crackup, a professional guy-for-hire to break up any bad relationship. He will go to extreme lengths to woo his mark -- pretend to be a doctor for underprivileged kids in a clinic in Morocco or learn the final dance number from Dirty Dancing -- only to abandon the besotted woman after a kiss, eyes opened to new possibilities.
In this case, he’s been paid to split up the lovely Juliette Van Der Becq (Vanessa Paradis) and her well-to-do English finance (Andrew Lincoln), an impeccable couple: good looking, well-mannered, happy and in love. This is a case too hard for Lippi. He refuses her father’s payment, but is forced to reconsider. A hit man is after our charming Lothario. Alex Lippi needs to the money from this job, and therefore must put a stop to the marriage -- or his kneecaps will suffer.

And so off we go, to Monaco, naturally: a five-star hotel, stunning views, expensive cars, starlit nights. It’s the perfect backdrop for this frothy, entertaining film.

Most important, Romain Duris is terrifically funny. To get close to Juliette, he poses as her bodyguard. To convince her of his prowess, he performs broad physical comedy: chasing down speeding cars and tackling potential assailants (including throwing her unsuspecting best friend into a wall). To find access to her heart, he sings Wham! and replicates Patrick Swazye’s classic moves. Paradis is less interesting as the beautiful girl, but her sex-hungry friend Sophie (Héléna Noguerra) more than makes up for it.

Heartbreaker (2010)

Starring: Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis
Directed by: Pascal Chaumeil
Produced by: Nicolas Duval, Laurent Zeitoun
Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.
Release Date: September 10th, 2010 (limited)
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributors: IFC Films
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