My Donkey, My Lover & I is yet another story about a woman who ventures out into the wild and finds herself. But to the writer and director Caroline Vignal’s credit, this low-key romantic French comedy proves friskier and more idiosyncratic than its reliance on this trope of feminist empowerment would suggest.
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It’s delightful. Director Caroline Vignal infuses the film with just enough whimsy — but not too much. It’s not going to rewrite the rules of cinema or anything, but it’s not trying to.
The real chemistry here is with the four-legged ass, not the human one.
There’s such a warm buoyancy to My Donkey, My Lover & I — such a well-earned, rejuvenating naturalness to the way that Vignol addresses the insecurities and frustrations that keep middle-aged women from loving themselves — that it eventually hits with the same oomph of a film that takes itself far more seriously.
My Donkey, My Lover & I isn’t going to break the mold, but it’s an easy stride of a film that’s bubbling with joy.
My Donkey, My Lover & I is a sun-kissed, transportive charmer that doesn’t bring much new to the table yet never hits a snag. In other words: the ideal summer watch.
Calamy delivers a beautifully open performance at the center of an utterly winning comedy about the most important journey a person can take: toward finding themselves.
Its plot is simple and direct, albeit enlivened by well-timed surprises. The film isn’t especially funny—droll is more accurate—but its approach to Antoinette’s character adroitly balances sympathy with mockery.
Writer-director Caroline Vignal could have made "My Donkey” into a 90-minute monologue, with Antoinette talking to the donkey. Instead, there’s lots of variation, smart turns of story and well-drawn, well-defined characters. Vignal makes even the bit characters, the ones with just three or four lines, vivid.
If you’re looking for low-exertion a summer escape movie with a bucket list travel destination as its setting and a donkey and the hapless, lovelorn sap who rides him as its stars, “My Donkey, My Lover & I” certainly fills the bill.