April 15, 2008
Review - " Hors de Prix (Priceless) " (in Theaters) - By Roland Hansen
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Hors de Prix (Priceless)
Directed by Pierre Salvadori
Written by Benoit Graffin & Pierre Salvadori
Starring Audry Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Marie-Christine Adam, Vernon Dobtcheff
So often the films you really want to watch cannot be found anywhere or have “limited
release” and are relegated to a few art house theaters. Hollywood advertises the hell out
of a movie and gets you interested. You want to see it but you can’t because it never gets
general release. This happened so many times last year I began to suspect some of the
films never actually existed. (“The Savages”, & “Lust Caution” just to mention two). When
you do manage to find them you have to drive 50 miles out of your way to the art houses.
That’s a big commitment in time and energy, not to mention gas. When you take the risk
do you find one of the few gems (“Lars and the Real Girl”, “Grace is Gone”) or do you end
up with a turd (“Southland Tales”)? This is a big risk for such an emotional and financial
expenditure. Happily “Hors de Prix” (Priceless) is one of the gems, a true sparkling
diamond. Set against a wildly atmospheric backdrop of the south of France. Sexy and
thoroughly charming romantic comedy which is a re-imagining of the cinema classic
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
“Hors de Prix” is the tale of two people who meet under unusual circumstances. Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a shy bartender at a
luxurious hotel, is mistaken for an ultra-rich socialite by a beautiful young gold digger, Irène (Audrey Tautou). When she
discovers his real identity, she flees instantly. But Jean is smitten and goes out and searches for her on the Riviera. Irène
repeated rebuffs his attentions only to find that a love-struck Jean has no intention of letting her get away. Jean's comical
attempts to gain her affections gradually evolve into setting himself up as a gigolo at a luxury hotel. This new situation
brings him closer to Irène who finally accepts his presence and sees him as one of her own. She begins to give him advice
and grows closer to him without realizing that she is falling in love.
She pretty much bankrupts the poor guy. After spending his entire life savings he doesn't even get laid. She pretends to be
asleep. It’s a pretty juicy revenge for his spoiling her chances with her rich boyfriend. She’s trying to teach him a lesson but
it’s a price he’d gladly pay just to spend some time with her. There’s an incredibly sweet moment when she’s about to leave,
he gives her his last nickel for just ten more seconds of her time. He uses that time to simply stand there gazing at her. This
same coin comes into play a few times during the film.
Audrey Tautou is jaw droppingly gorgeous! She should be in our top ten (Tautou was #32 on the 2007 Delta 99). Her
plunging necklines all the way down to the navel will no doubt raise temperatures. Audrey turns in a superb performance as
the beautiful scheming coquette. Her quirky smile was reminiscent of Amelie. Gad Elmaleh is fantastic as the bumbling
charmer, Jean. There is real on screen chemistry between him and Tautou. All the supporting roles were very well acted,
particularly Marie-Christine Adam as the mature cosmopolitan Madeliene.
Set amidst the opulent architecture, luxurious French hotels, and stunning ocean views this film features wonderful
cinematography with some interesting and unique camera angles. The musical score is light and jazzy. The upbeat tempo is
perfectly suited to what is happening on screen. The best songs were kept for a party scene, and for as many party scenes
featured in various movies, this one as one of
the most interesting, thanks to the key music,
characters, and the scene that plays out just
right. There’s a particularly great moment
when Irène is putting the moves on her latest
sugar daddy and they play the song
“Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets”
This movie is very funny and well made. It is
high on charm and loads of laughs. The
dialogue is crisp and witty.
You've GOT to see “Priceless”, it’s priceless.
If you’re not turned off by sub-titles, go see
“Hors de Prix”. It’s a wonderfully funny, witty
You won’t have to walk out … but just barely.