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Starring: Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Cecile De France, Kelly Reilly, Kevin Bishop
Director: Cédric Klapisch
Rating: M18 (Nudity)
Year Made: 2005








Languages: Spanish/French/English
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 2 hrs 5 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Entertainment




The sequel to Spanish Apartment (2002). Five years after their summer together in Barcelona, Xavier (Romain Duris), William (Kevin Bishop), Wendy (Kelly Reilly), Martine (Audrey Tautou) and Ishabelle (Cecile de France) reunite for a wedding in St. Petersburg, their carefree days behind them, and now close to thirty. Xavier is a struggling writer who dreams of having the perfect career and the perfect woman. He is still in touch with his ex-girlfriend Martine, but is living with Isabelle, now a successful gay stockbroker. When he has to find a British writer to work with him, he goes to live and work with Wendy in London. Dividing his time between London and Paris, where he is ghostwriting the memoirs of a sexy and spoilt 24 year old supermodel, Celia (Lucy Gordon), Xavier struggles with his attraction to both women, slowly realizing he must grow up.


For some of us, watching foreign flicks is as good as traveling the world. This sequel to the popular French comedy The Spanish Apartment (2002) brings us on a picturesque trip around Europe within its 125-minute running time. Not only are the scenes pleasures to the eyes, its stars are pretty to look at as well.

Following their little adventure five years ago, Xavier (the endearing Romain Duris, who is giving a fine performance now in Jacques Audiard’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped) is now a 30-year-old adult with an unfulfilled life. The struggling writer continues his search for the perfect woman in St Petersburg, Russia. And what an adventure he has, hooking up with girls from past and present, and beat this – different nationalities!

Like all French films, this one boasts of some genially fantasy sequences which will make you smile at their brilliant execution. And you will not gawk at these scenes’ unrealistic settings, because of how fun and aptly beautiful they are. Look out for the scene where Xavier’s imagination goes wild, when three Xaviers appear in the same shot, each playing the recorder or doing a cute little dance. It is one delightful sequence that will stay with you for quite a while.

For the dreamers, this film would appeal as well, given Xavier’s ghostwriting career, where he chronicles the memoirs of a sexy supermodel. Add this to the slew of women he meets along the way, and any hot-blooded young male viewer would wish that he is the one on this trip in St Petersburg.

If you have not gone to Europe, this film would make you want to go there on a vacation soon. The streets, apartments, nightspots and architectures gorgeously shot, and complemented with melodious European music – it will leave you enchanted.

The cast gives a good performance, and their wistful characters will engage you in the movie as well. Audrey Tautou’s brief appearance will be well-remembered, while Cecile de France’s role as a successful gay stockbroker leaves a lasting impression. Her amusing performance earned her a Best Supporting Actress win at the 2005 Cesar Awards.

For those unfamiliar with the pacing of whimsical French films, this one may be a bit difficult to follow, given its many characters and close to two hours runtime. Besides, some may not care too much about the characters because they are just too many.

But look beyond all that, and you would have a fun trip around Europe. And if you are fine with just looking at images on the screen, you do not even have to step out of the house or pay for a plane ticket to enjoy that.


The visual transfer is just fine, with audio options of English Dolby 2.0 and English Dolby 5.1.


No extra features are included in this Code 3 DVD. It would have been nice for the filmmakers to bring us around Europe more though.



Review by John Li



Alternative Opinion:

The movie review by our columnist,

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. Jasmine Women

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. My Girl & I

. Half Light

. Mur (The Wall)

. Mrs Henderson Presents

. Hidden

. The Descent

. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

. A Season for Love

. Horror Theater Series 2

. Horror Theater Series I

. Capturing the Friedmans

. The Wig

. A Wicked Tale

. As It Is In Heaven

. When I Turned 9



This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar


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