It plays everything safe, keeping all its edges rounded and its lips sealed in territory ripe for sociopolitical commentary, making even The Help's glib depiction of African American servitude seem nearly honest.
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Other than giving Almodóvar regulars Carmen Maura and Lola Dueñas plum supporting roles, that's the best you can say about Philippe Le Guay's trite-to-intolerable tale on the discreet eye-opening of the bourgeoisie.
Philippe Le Guay's carefully-tailored crowd-pleaser does have its pleasures, even if originality is not among them.
Mr. Luchini has a touching way of opening up the repressed heroes he often plays, and Ms. Verbeke's droll manipulations - and genuine sweetness - are more than enough to justify the transformation that María and the other maids work on Jean-Louis's life.
The French have a knack for it. They've been making funny and agreeable movie farces for forever, and seeing The Women on the 6th Floor makes you hope they'll never stop.
Lighter than a meringue and as insubstantial, the French boulevard comedy The Women on the 6th Floor was designed for the gentle laughter it easily earns.
All the words that follow assault the ear in this unnecessary rehashing of the earthy virtues of low-paid laborers versus the stiffness of the bourgeoisie.
The Women on the 6th Floor is delicate and sensitive and utter bollocks - a bourgeois wet dream made to soothe the souls and stir the loins of powerful men in midlife crisis. But some of us wish we could see this movie told from the maids' point of view.
Has a few things going for it -- a winning performance by Luchini and a small role by Pedro Almodóvar favorite Carmen Maura. But these talented folks can't compensate for a plot that strains credulity and lacks badly needed social bite. Wait for the DVD.