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Après Vous is a French gâteau of cloying overelaboration, relying on its characters' inexplicable behavior to prolong its plot's instantaneous tedium. A hurrying passer-by, after hours in a public park, stops to save a would-be suicide and thereafter goes to infinite lengths to help him out, giving him a place to stay even if it means displacing his own girlfriend, driving him through the night to intercept a posted suicide note, getting him an unsuitable job as a sommelier, and conspiring to reunite him with his inamorata (one of the legion of unusual-looking French leading ladies, the vaguely goosey Sandrine Kiberlain). The direction of Pierre Salvadori, scarcely a newcomer to the screen but a new name over here, is not without its felicities, as witness the well-timed episode, with shrewd use of off-screen space, in which our meddlesome Samaritan tips the inamorata to the infidelity of her current fiancé. And Daniel Auteuil is an actor of prodigious range: his semi-paralytic drunk scene is so out-of-character that it almost appears to have been appropriated from his co-star, José Garcia. I seem to remember remarking or thinking, with regard to The Closet or some other, that it's interesting to watch this fastidious virtuoso throw himself into slopwork. I would not want to make a habit of remarking it. Moviegoers with a taste for Gallic comedies are advised not to let Happily Ever After slip out of town while making plans for this one.

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