52nd Chicago International Film Festival Screening #23: “The Together Project” (France/Iceland)

“The Together Project” (France/Iceland)
Directed by Solveig Anspach

90g0dwmpszidk4h3uaglmqipchiThis utterly goofy and highly enjoyable film from the late Solveig Anspach, might be one of the strangest (and most earnest) RomCom’s I’ve seen. At its core, it sounds simple enough…a Frenchman pretends he doesn’t know how to swim to gain proximity to a swimming instructor he desires. And then it gets strange, really strange…and hilarious.

The humor, while grounded in situational pretext, is utterly dependent on the actors. And Anspach has assembled some of the most charming and likeable actors I’ve seen in a foreign comedy for some time. Leading the pack is the absolutely adorable Samir Guesmi. His face – the most earnest and innocent face of a romantic schemer (more so, even, than Tom Hanks) – makes you smile…for the entirety of the film’s breezy 83 minutes. The rest of the cast fits the lunacy quite well…especially a character named Frosti, played, strangely enough, by an actor named Frosti (Frosti Runolfsson).

Martin Wheeler’s score is adequately kooky, never zany, and avoids the typical dramatic notes that destroy RomCom scores. Fun and well placed.

I’m sure this will show up somewhere, either in your streaming box or local art-house. Just try and see a screening that doesn’t suffer from the same mishaps that the Film Festival’s did. The film was interrupted three separate times, and I still loved it! It was the perfect film to end my 23-film Chicago International Film Festival odyssey! HIGHLY recommended.

Written on 11/13/2016

 

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