Review

'Anything for Alice' mixes chemistry, old formula for success

Review: French rom-com 'Anything for Alice' has two actors who make tried-and-true formula work

"Anything for Alice" handily demonstrates how there's no need to divert from the dog-eared romantic-comedy playbook when you've got a pair of ace players in your corner.

Although formulaic to a fault, this French film directed by Nicolas Cuche packs a charming effervescence thanks to the easy chemistry of appealing leads Max Boublil and Aïssa Maïga, who meet cute but are quickly driven apart by their differences.

When we first encounter Max, he's a vacuous university student attempting to catch the eye of the pretty, principled law student by pretending to care about social issues.

Fast-forward eight years. Max and his slacker buddies have become improbable Internet millionaires with their dating site, Meetthemother.com, and Max spots Alice, a factory assembly line worker and employee representative, on the news.

In a bid to get closer to her, Max purchases the B'ang powdered beverage company, where Alice works, and poses as a fellow employee.

On paper, the two characters might not be the easiest to warm to. One's a bit of a con man, the other's a tad judgmental. But Boublil and especially the vivacious Maïga possess a natural, winning charisma that cuts through the written conventions. With similarly savvy casting, the rom-com seems ripe for an American remake.

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'Anything for Alice'

MPAA rating: Unrated

Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Playing: Laemmle's Royal, West L.A.

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