Priceless (Hors De Prix) (12A)



Comedy (2006)
105mins Fr

Starring: Gad Elmaleh, Audrey Tautou, Marie-Christine Adam, Vernon Dobtcheff
Director: Pierre Salvadori
Writer(s): Benoit Graffin, Pierre Salvadori
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Shy bartender Jean works in a luxury hotel in Biarritz, where he earns meagre tips as a dog walker and stares enviously at the beautiful, rich clientele. Among the guests is money-grabbing Irene and her latest sugar daddy, Jacques, who has the gall to fall asleep during her birthday celebrations. Understandably disgruntled, Irene sneaks down to the bar where she mistakes dapper Jean for another millionaire guest and proceeds to flirt with him. Jean plays along with his pretty companion's faux pas and they spend the night in the Imperial Suite, where a member of staff discovers them the next morning and Irene realizes her error.

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LondonNet Film Review
Priceless (Hors De Prix)

Diamonds are a girl's best friend - although designer heels and haute cuisine come a close second - in Priceless (Hors De Prix), a breezy romantic comedy set in the sun-kissed playgrounds of the rich and fabulous...

Gad Elmaleh (Jean) & Audrey Tatou (Irene) Priceless. Icon FilmPierre Salvadori's charming confection plays cupid with a lowly waiter and a label-obsessed gold digger - a man born to serve, and a woman determined to help herself to everything she can get her greedy mitts on. Money, as it turns out, can buy love though not with the person holding the platinum credit card as these polar opposites gravitate towards each other via a series of farcical set pieces and misunderstandings against the backdrops of the Cote d'Azur, Nice and Monaco.

Considering the lively performances and relentlessly feel good tone, it's difficult to see why Salvadori's film has taken the best part of 18 months to cross the English Channel (leading lady Audrey Tautou shot this straight after The Da Vinci Code). Whatever the reason for the delay, Priceless is a tres joli antidote to a packed summer of sport and should be welcomed with open arms by the hordes of Euro 2008 widows who have already had their fill of the big screen Sex And The City.

Gad Elmaleh (Jean) Priceless. Icon FilmShy bartender Jean (Gad Elmaleh) works in a luxury hotel in Biarritz, where he earns meagre tips as a dog walker and stares enviously at the beautiful, rich clientele. Among the guests is money-grabbing Irene (Tautou) and her latest sugar daddy, Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff), who has the gall to fall asleep during her birthday celebrations. Understandably disgruntled, Irene sneaks down to the bar where she mistakes dapper Jean for another millionaire guest and proceeds to flirt with him.

Jean plays along with his pretty companion's faux pas and they spend the night in the Imperial Suite, where a member of staff discovers them the next morning and Irene realizes her error. She leaves in a hurry but Jean is smitten and he follows her to Nice where she exacts her revenge by accepting a dinner date (choosing the caviar, lobster and champagne) then bankrupts him on a shopping spree of the local boutiques. When all hope seems lost and lovesick Jean seems destined for the gutter, wealthy widow Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam) installs him as her toy boy gigolo and tutors him in the art of seduction.

Gad Elmaleh (Jean) & Audrey Tatou (Irene) Priceless. Icon FilmPriceless is as light and airy as some of Tautou's summery costumes, shifting the balance of power between Jean and Irene as he gives her a run for other people's money. The chemistry between Elmaleh and Tautou isn't entirely believable but both inhabit their roles with gusto and elan, the former leaping up instinctively whenever anyone calls for a waiter. Dobtcheff and Adam's supporting characters are thinly sketched so we don't feel too sorry when they end up alone by the end credits. They can simply pay for someone to fill the emotional void.

- Jo Planter


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