A FAITHFUL MAN (L’homme fidèle)

(director/writer: Louis Garrel; screenwriter: Jean-Claude Carriere; cinematographer: Irina Lubtchansky; editor: Joelle Hache; cast: Louis Garrel (Abel), Laetitia Casta (Marianne), Lily-Rose Depp (Eve), Joseph Engel (Joseph); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Sorlat; Kino Lorber; 2018-France-in French with English subtitles)

“Might not satisfy those wanting something more substantial.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This is the second feature of director-writer Louis Garrel (“Two Friends”), a French actor turned director. It’s co-written with the legendary writer Jean-Claude Carriere. It comes on like a French bedroom farce and is playfully comical in the style of the French New Wave.

Abel, a journalist, lives with his girlfriend Marianne (Laetitia Casta, Garrel’s real-life wife) for the last three years in her luxurious Paris apartment. One day, Marianne, in a matter of fact manner, tells him that she is having an affair with his best friend Paul and that she is pregnant with his baby. She subsequently kicks Abel out of the apartment and marries Paul. After eight years, Paul unexpectedly dies in his sleep. Soon the widowed Marianne hooks up again with Abel. But many twists occur in this twisty story: including the appearance of a wily young lady named Eve (Lily-Rose Depp), Paul’s younger sister, who comes onto Abel and lets Marianne know there’s a strong attraction between Abel and her; then there’s Abel’s problems with trying to deal with Marianne’s difficult, morbid and very amusing child Joseph (Joseph Engel); and, also there are lingering questions about Paul’s death that are raised by the crime story obsessed Joseph–who believes mom poisoned dad to get together with Abel.

The rom-com chooses to take a light-hearted approach to any of the questionable relationships, and that works well as an easy watch but might not satisfy those wanting something more substantial.

A Faithful Man

REVIEWED ON 7/19/2019       GRADE: B-