Movie review: Pretty people enliven French farce 'Priceless'

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2008 - 4:11 PM
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Gad Elmaleh and Audrey Tautou in "Priceless"

Photo: Photo courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Films,

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Where would French farce be without mistaken identity? Industrious gold digger Irene (Audrey Tautou) is staying at a posh Riviera resort with an elderly sugar daddy who has dozed off early. Not one to fritter away her time, she slinks down to the bar in search of another mark.

And there she sees Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a wealthy looking guy about her age. Unaware that he's a tuxedoed hotel bartender on break, she makes her move. He, thrilled to have an attractive young woman pursuing him, sneaks her into the penthouse suite and does nothing to rectify her misunderstanding. The game is afoot in "Priceless," a blithe comedy from writer/director Pierre Salvadori ("Apres Vous").

As soon as she realizes her mistake, Irene dumps Jean, but he tracks her like a bloodhound. With the newfound confidence that follows a night of passionate lovemaking, he decides to explore his own value as a stud-for-hire, charming a gorgeous society matron who grooms him as her plaything. Jean, looking great in his new gigolo threads, parades in front of Irene as she works another mark. Her reaction when she sees his costly new wristwatch is popcorn-spittingly funny. And so they go, consorting with their clients while courting each other.

The appealing actors make up for the fact that they're portraying prostitutes. They are putting their bodies up for sale, but saving their hearts for true love. After all, that's the only thing that's priceless.

Colin Covert • 612-673-7186

  • PRICELESS

    ★★★ out of four stars

    Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including nudity.

    Theater: Edina.

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