Anaïs in Love
A love story as warm and refreshing as the Parisian summer it’s set against, writer-director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s feature debut Anaïs in Love is a dizzyingly euphoric delight from the moment viewers see the titular Anaïs (Anaïs Demoustier) rushing to a meeting with her landlady. She’s two months behind on her rent, the deadline for her thesis is fast approaching and she’s barely holding together a relationship with her boyfriend; but she doesn’t have a care in the world. She bounds through life with a smile on her face, living each moment to the fullest. A chance encounter leads her to befriend successful writer Emilie (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), and a burning love soon follows.
Bourgeois-Tacquet’s debut is a feature that viewers will fall in love with. It’s bursting with vibrant personality, witty humour and tender honesty, all of which is carefully and elegantly crafted. At the heart of it is Demoustier’s exuberant performance. She steals every scene, thanks to her intoxicating charm and immovable happy-go-lucky attitude. Unlike most films of this genre, this lead doesn’t go through a conventional coming-of-age character arc, in which she evolves into a bettered version of herself. Rather, Bourgeois-Tacquet takes the opportunity to tell a different kind of story – one that is as unafraid to seize the joys in life as its protagonist.
Tedeschi is radiant in the supporting role. She and Demoustier share divine onscreen chemistry that’s masterfully nurtured into a passionate love affair. It only comes as something of a disappointment that Tedeschi doesn’t come into play until around the halfway mark, but when she does this film truly comes into its own.
Not all aspects of this feature are made equal, however. As wonderful as each scene is, some plot points seem more like afterthoughts than necessary parts of the script. Likewise, the second act cannot help but indulge in an overdone love-triangle trope. Despite these nitpicks, viewers will nevertheless leave with a smile as big as Anaïs’s, ready to embrace life to the fullest.
Anaïs in Love does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2022 coverage here.
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Watch the trailer for Anaïs in Love here: