The world is a judgy place. Everyone is either too fat or too skinny. Wears too much clothing or not enough. Too loud or too quiet. Too rich or too poor. In film, these differences are played for laughs or poignant social commentary. In the latest French romcom ‘Up For Love’, there’s a new prejudice to add to the list - being too short, and it seems that even the French don’t know how they feel about it in this misconceived, tonally messy film.
Diane (Virginie Efira) is a successful lawyer in the midst of a complicated separation from her husband and business partner when she meets Alexandre (Jean Dujardin, ‘The Artist’) by chance. Alexandre is a thriving and very charming architect who just happens to be four and a half feet tall. As Diana falls more in love with Alexandre, she becomes more and more aware of the social complications that come with their difference in stature.
'UP FOR LOVE' TRAILER
Here’s the problem - there is no problem. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a short person in public and pointed or laughed at them, nor have I seen others do it. Are there below average height people in this world? Yes. Is it seen as a disfigurement, mutation or disadvantage? Other than having to give up a dream of playing professional basketball, not really.
Efira and Dujardin are beautiful, charismatic and have great chemistry but are both wasted here. Despite the visual trickery employed to help pass off Dujardin as four and a half feet tall, it just doesn’t work. Is this a comedy? There are certainly laughs. It is a romance? While a relationship is front and centre here, it’s not really the emotional conflict point. Or is is a drama? There’s a lot to see and say here regarding prejudice but combined with everything else it all just get a bit muddled.
Look, this is cute and enjoyable to a point but it’s not a winner.
Look, this is cute and enjoyable to a point but it’s not a winner, disappointingly. Nothing seems to fit well and we know the French can make a romcom and make them great - but this just isn’t one of them.