Up For Love review: The height of romance

Up For Love doesn’t care for accurate proportions when there’s a short gag to be had at its leading man’s expense

Film Title: Up for Love

Director: Laurent Tirard

Starring: Virginie Efira, Jean Dujardin

Genre: Romance

Running Time: 98 min

Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 15:00

   

Successful lawyer Diane (Virginie Efira) is surprised to receive a phone-call at home from Alexandre (Jean Dujardin), a charming fellow who explains that he’s calling from the mobile she left on a restaurant table following a loud row with Bruno (Cédric Khan), her business partner and former husband. Mortification soon gives way to flirting and the pair arrange a meeting. Alexandre turns out to have all the attributes we’ve come to associate with the rom-com: he’s an architect of opera houses so has a large, expensive-looking house; he has access to a plane for skydiving; he’s kind to his lazy housekeeper and unemployed grown-up son. He also has a classic rom-com flaw: he’s really, really short.

Will Diane see past (or over) her new beau’s stature? Will her mother’s jokes about tiny terriers wear her down? “We’re Nazis, that’s what we are”, exclaims Diane’s colleague, somewhere between Diane and Alexandre getting together and breaking up and so on.

This remake of the 2013 Argentine-Brazilian film Corazón de León was a huge hit in France and, before the collapse of the foreign language movie market, might reasonably have expected to emulate the goofy crossover appeal of Les Visiteurs (1993) or Welcome to the Sticks (2008).

Making terrific use of M Dujardin’s prankster appeal - not to mention split-screen SFX and giant props that might have been borrowed from the National Leprechaun Museum - Up For Love doesn’t care for accurate proportions when there’s a short gag to be had at its leading man’s expense. (Actual size: 182cm. Movie size: somewhere between a quarter or a half of his love interest.)

Is it politically correct to cast a tall person in this role? Or is it politically incorrect to even wonder such a thing? Either way, if I were a shorter actor, I’d expect a producer to rock up any time now, with a view to an English language remake of this silly, perfectly likeable confection.