While the screenplay, adapted from a novel by Marie-Sabine Roger, grows more clumsily trite as the film proceeds, the two leads are always enjoyable together.
Stream My Afternoons with Margueritte
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Charming slice of small-town France.
The film is a reminder of the pleasure to be found in simple things - reading a book, sitting on a park bench with a friend, spending an afternoon with Margueritte.
Germain's bonhomie with the bistro regulars has the feel of a TV comedy pilot, which is more than can be said of the monologues he speaks to his cat, one on the inadequacies of the dictionary.
If you could also use some time off, try his gentle new comedy.
French feel-good filmmaking to the max. Yet a heaping pile of cliches doesn't prevent this touchingly simplistic tale -- from exuding a strong and universal emotional appeal.
That so many of the colossal yokel's mental states are literalized, as when the screen fills with thousands of rats while Margueritte reads Camus's "The Plague" aloud to her new pal, typifies the movie's antipathy to nuance.
The fine-boned, delicate-looking Ms. Casadesus, now 97, is a pleasure to watch. And the not-delicate-looking Mr. Depardieu does his usual excellent job. But their scenes together, if sweet enough, aren't particularly convincing or moving.
Depardieu's days as a leading man might be over, but he has a bright future in quirky roles like Germain.