In the slight but charming comedy "Après Vous," Daniel Auteuil stars as Antoine, a headwaiter at a popular Paris restaurant whose life falls apart after he does a good deed.
Walking home late through the park one night, he comes across a distraught man (Jose Garcia) on the verge of hanging himself. Antoine prevents the suicide, but he receives no gratitude. Louis wanted to die; the burden of proving that his life is worth living falls on Antoine.
And so Antoine gets Louis a job at his restaurant: which turns out to be a very bad move. Hapless Louis doesn't know from fine wine, and he has the unfortunate tendency to start weeping unexpectedly at customers' tables. Still hoping for the best, Antoine decides to become a matchmaker. This proves to be another bad move: before long, Antoine finds himself absolutely, hopelessly smitten with Blanche (the lovely Sandrine Kilberlain), the melancholy florist who broke Louis' heart. Antoine finds himself lying to Louis, scaling apartment walls, spending big bucks of flowers, and downing wine straight from the bottle in the cellar of his restaurant.
Daniel Auteuil is a marvelous actor, one of France's most talented. He has the range to convincingly play a hardened tough guy in the 2004 cop drama "36 Quai de Orfevres" and also pull off the gentle, comic sweetheart in "Après Vous." It's pure fun to watch Auteuil mug for the camera under Pierre Salvadori's nimble direction. The humor in "Après Vous" is not subtle--plenty of falling-down jokes--but the film has many, many laughs.