Le Grand Amour (1969) Film Review

Le Grand AmourLe Grand Amour is a French comedy that reminds me of Amélie.  Like Amélie, Le Grand Amour uses a fair share of surreal imagery.  These surreal scenes are the most memorable, for fairly obvious reasons.  Who wouldn’t remember a scene where people are driving beds?  Yeah, beds on a road.  I wonder if there is snooze control.  Le Grand Amour is a great film.  I enjoyed watching it.  As I was watching the film however, I felt like I should have been enjoying it more than I actually was.  This is mainly due to some scenes going on for longer than they have to.

The movie is about a married man who is attracted to his new secretary.  It is a relatively low-stakes premise for a movie title that translates to “The Great Love”, but it is a fitting title given how the protagonist fantasizes about his secretary.

One of the highlights of the film aside from the bed driving scene is a scene where the man images what would happen if his wife finds out about his feelings towards his secretary.  All he can think of is an impending divorce and in a day dream, he begins to cut everything in his home in half.  The TV, the books, the dog, nothing is safe.  It is over-the-top and unexpected.  Most of the attempts of humor in this film are unexpected.

The gags hardly ever feel out of place, but they occasionally drag on.  Had some of the scenes been shorter, it would have been an even more enjoyable movie.  An example of this is when the man finds a strand of the secretary’s hair in his office.  He smells the hair and puts it away in his desk and then decides to throw it away.  He then decides that he wants to keep the hair and begins to sift through the trash.  I get it.  He is obsessed with her.  It just goes from being awkwardly funny to creepy.

Clocking in at around 90 minutes, Le Grand Amour is an easy watch.  If you enjoyed Amélie, chances are you will find enjoyment in this movie.  I find it surprising that this film want missing and only resurfaced with the help of the Criterion Collection.

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