Friday, October 4, 2013

Populaire (Rhoades)

May Prove to Be a Popular Throwback

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Speed counts. You’ve seen it recently in the Ron Howard movie “Rush.” You’ve seen it in oldies-but-goodies like “Chariots of Fire.” You’ve seen it in thrillers like, well, “Speed.”

Now we have a different kind of movie about being the fastest: “Populaire,” a movie about typing speed.

Yep, you read it right (are you a speed reader?).

You will find this sentimental French entry -- currently playing at the Tropic Cinema -- an amusing and slightly corny look at love amid shifting typewriter keys.

Here you’ll find a young woman named Rose (Déborah François) who appears destined for a boring life in a boring French village until she applies for a job with a hot-shot insurance agency while on a trip to Normandy. She doesn’t get the job, but she gets a shot at fame when the boss (Romain Duris) discovers what a fast typist she is. Next thing you know he declares himself her trainer and sets out to turn her into the fastest typist in the entire world.

Alors! Love is not a sport best played for speed.

This breezy look at romance in 1958 has a certain panache that might remind you of a Gallic version of those old Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies. Think: “Pillow Talk” shot on the sound stage for “Desk Set.”

Sacre bleu!

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