Suspend your disbelief – that’s the advice often given to filmgoers. Never has it been more necessary than if you settle down in front of Audrey Tautou’s Beautiful Lies.
The film, released in 2010 as De Vrais Mensonges, has several things in its favour: its setting in the sunny south of France and its cast.
As Émilie, Tautou is sweet and ditsy. Mother Maddy (Nathalie Baye, pictured) is familiar for her roles in Catch Me If You Can and Tell No One (Ne Le Dis à Personne). Handsome odd-job man Jean (Sami Bouajila) will be recognisable to anyone who’s ever seen the gay-themed Drôle de Félix.
The plot, however, is based on a ridiculous premise: hair salon owner Émilie receives a passionate love letter but throws it away with barely a second thought. Then she fishes it out of the bin and reproduces its contents to give to her mother, who is still hurting after the break-up of her marriage.
Cue contrived confusion.
Sorry to say, but this farce soon falls flatter than a home perm.