Maybe I just wasn’t in a whimsical enough mood, because I did read some reviews of this movie and they were not too bad, but despite the fact that I love a good romance as much as the next person, I struggled to get through the yawn fest that was 5 to 7.
I just felt the whole movie had nothing to add to anything in the genre and is positively riddled with cliches – watch out for the cliche bell – BING. The film is set in New York and tells the story of a young aspiring writer BING, who is living in a modest apartment with walls covered in rejection letters – BING. One afternoon, while out walking he sees an attractive woman, standing outside a hotel smoking a cigarette. He takes a punt, crosses the street and joins her for a cigarette and a chat.
A thin, attractive woman smoking a cigarette in a sexy way. Turns out – guess what? She is French – BING BING BING BING. She lets him know that she will be there again, if he happens to be walking by, and so begins the start of a relationship that quickly blossoms into the affair which is the story of the movie.
Turns out there is a twist – she is older than him, but come on, not much. He is 24, she is 33 – what is that, nine years? Nine years is nothing. It would just about mean they die at the same time, since women tend to outlive the men they can’t get rid of by about a decade. But wait! There is another big twist – she is married, with a young family, but don’t worry, ZEY ARE FRENCH and are very sophisticated about these things. She can meet him between the hours of 5 and 7 only while her husband is off bonking his mistress, because – hey ZEY are French, right? BING.
The comedy is supposed to rise from the increasing levels of discomfort that arise from the young writer’s baptism by fire into this tres European way of doing things. You know, like the civilised dinner party where the kids welcome the respective lovers of their parents and are precociously bright and well mannered, taking coats and being charmants. BING (BLEH).
Thank God for Glenn Close and Frank Langelia, who play the guy’s parents and who provide the only genuine moments of humour to be found in the film – one scene framed in one shot in the underground car park did make me laugh out loud – I kept praying for them to turn up again and rescue us from the increasingly sentimental excesses and improbabilities that the film throws up.
I am not going to spoil it but, you know, the husband’s lover just happens to work at The New Yorker, which just happens to be on the look out for aspiring new writers. And you know how the first time your heart gets broken you need to write your way though it to cope? And how sometimes you run into someone by chance years later and we know you are older because you are wearing glasses and a cardigan? I am not saying anything, but I will say BING BING BING.
It is confidently shot and doesn’t linger too much on any one scene. It tried to punctuate the narrative by referencing the plaques on the benches in the park, in memory of lovers past – but for me that just invoked When Harry Met Sally, and failed by some distance to match it. If you are doing a romantic comedy and trying to comment on relationships, you invoke When Harry Met Sally at your peril.
Sorry guys, the movie tries, but for me ultimately failed. Defintely one for my bucket list, as in ‘pass me a bucket, they are going to kiss again.’ BLEH.