French film blog: France’s American-style romcom you need to see this month

French film blog: France's American-style romcom you need to see this month
Still from new French romcom Mon Inconnue. Picture Mars Distribution
French cinema has always had a healthy obsession with love, but are romantic movies going down the Hollywood route? Khaila King from Lost in Frenchlation examines the evidence.

Married and in love, Raphael and Olivia have been together for 10 years.

However, everything sweet turns sour after the high school sweethearts have a devastating argument, resulting in Raphael waking up to a parallel universe where Olivia is no longer his “one and only.”


Two films on a similar theme, one British, one American

He has the opportunity to live out the single days he missed out on for so long, but the absence of Olivia makes him realise that he cannot live without her. Now he is met with the challenge of getting his wife, who is now a stranger, to fall in love with him for a second time.

Does this story sound familiar? If it does you’ve probably seen Channing Tatum follow the same objective in the The Vow or any other American romcom following the same guise.

However, this is not an American blockbuster, this is the story of the newly released French romcom Mon Inconnue (Love at Second Sight).

Although France is known to be the home of the city of love and romance, when it comes to movie production, viewers are starting to feel that their romance films are falling short of authentic French influence and adopting typical American narratives instead, which raises the question: “Are French romance films becoming more American?”

With Hollywood and American film production being at the height of the film industry, there is no surprise that French directors and screenwriters are embracing the American love story guidelines and clichés to appeal to a wider audience.

In 2017 alone, Hollywood brought in $43 billion (€38 billion) in revenue and the numbers just keep climbing.

It’s possible that French movie production has become a part of the capitalistic game of “money over subject matter.” 

In reality, there's only so many ways two people can fall in love, but it’s left up to the creative thinkers behind the scenes to deliver audiences the new twists and unpredictable plots that they crave.

But the American romcom, The Vow, released in 2012, and Mon Inconnue are similar, still have their differences.

Mon Inconnue blends genres of sci-fi and romance, as it is set in a parallel universe, while The Vow is a story inspired by true events.

Delivering reality and fantasy are far from the same, but depicting love will always follow some type of pattern.

To keep its French touch, Mon Inconnue shows multiple scenes set in Paris with a healthy dose of those heart wrenching moments of intimacy and bits of cheesy humour that we all know and love.

Mon Inconnue sets itself apart from other rom coms by mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar and fantasy with fiction, remaining a must watch for the romance cinephiles of both France and the rest of world.

To watch Mon Inconnue with English subtitles, don’t miss the Lost in Frenchlation screening on May 3rd in the heart of Montmartre. Click here to find out full details of the event. 

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