French Rom-Com Love Is in the Air Feels Like a Bad American Rom-Com


Love Is in the Air was made in France, but even the most isolated American moviegoer would likely find it familiar.

If this rom-com’s setting and structure superficially recall Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited!, director Alexandre Castagnetti’s eyes are obviously set toward Hollywood inspirations.

The film all but begs for a remake starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. On a six-hour flight from New York to Paris, estranged lovers Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) and Antoine (Nicolas Bedos) meet for the first time in three years. Assigned seats next to each other, they can’t help but rehash the ups and downs of their turbulent relationship, even though Julie is pregnant and about to marry another man.

She’s an art student who specializes in ugly sculpture and fecal-looking “screw you” messages written in chocolate, while he’s a douchebag womanizer. After he commits one truly unforgivable act, their relationship hits the rocks, but the film tries its hardest to find redemption for Antoine.

Wrapped in slick direction (including plenty of split-screen), this goes down easy, but it’s wholly unbelievable. Worse, it’s instantly forgettable.

The characters, particularly Antoine, are never more unpleasant than when the script — written by a committee of six, never a good sign — expects us to find their foibles charming. There’s no real tension to the film because the ending is never in doubt.

America produces enough bad rom-coms that I don’t think we need to import France’s equally weak version of the genre.