Big question: Can this fictionalized flick avoid comparisons to "Shakespeare in Love" and find fun by turning Moliere's life into a Moliere-esque play?
Catch it: If you agree with Celimene's (Sagnier) assertion that "Beauty without intelligence is like a hook without bait." This likely also means that you are not Jessica Simpson.
Bottom line: The only substance in "Moliere" comes from the scribe learning that when you write what you know, you can't chronicle tragedy until you've experienced it. Had "Moliere" offered a broader repertoire of comedy and truly asked its characters to sacrifice for love, perhaps the film would not have suffered from the same lack of dramatic perspective as its hero.
Bonus: Next time you can't pay the bills, take a page from Moliere's book and call out, "A plague on creditors!" Hired goons are surprisingly fearful of old-school threats!
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Laurent Tirard; screenplay by Tirard and Gregoire Vigneron; photographed by Gilles Henry; edited by Valerie Deseine; music by Frederic Talgorn; production design by Francois Dupertuis; produced by Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier. A Sony Pictures Classics release; opens Friday at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema and CineArts 6 in Evanston. In French with English subtitles. Running time: 2:00. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for some sexual content).
Moliere - Romain Duris
Jourdain - Fabrice Luchini
Elmire - Laura Morante
Dorante - Edouard Baer
Celimene - Ludivine Sagnier
Henriette - Fanny Valette