No matter how hard she tried, the lamp was not responding to Nathalie’s telepathic signals.

Written and directed by David Foenkinos, Delicacy explores the possibility that after the love of your life, there might just be one more.

Audrey Tatou stars as Nathalie, whose  romantic Parisian love story is cut short when her husband, Francois, dies in a road accident. Life, as ever, must go on, and Nathalie’s focus shifts to her work. Some time later, she accidentally involves herself with an unlikely suitor- a colleague who is not the typical romantic hero but could be the one to open her heart…

The suitor in question is Swedish Markus, played by Francois Damiens. He joins the company to work under Nathalie and is bemused but enchanted when on one visit to her office, she approaches him from across the room and kisses him, later blaming the incident on her grief but leaving Markus with an unmistakeable crush. Several encounters ensue but the relationship is thwarted by Nathalie’s predatory boss, sceptical friends and Markus’ absence of social skills. But as their attraction becomes undeniable, is the time and place finally right for Nathalie? The story has its heart in the right place- but Markus carries so little energy or zest for life that it’s difficult to see how he lifts her out of her grief and gives her hope.

In typical French fashion, the design is stylish and nothing is too heavy. There are just enough comic moments to stop this being a sentimental romance and ensure that it is instead a fresh and hopeful story about moving on and looking beneath face value. The film ends rather abruptly- we are to assume that all’s well that ends well but it’s not old fashioned to expect a little plot resolution. La Delicatesse is, overall, a charming and lighthearted-for the most part- comedy that, although unrealistic, entertains enough.


by Stephanie Broad