Another in a long line of slight romantic comedies to be exported from France, Romantics Anonymous in short might be best described as a cross-pollination of Amelie and Chocolat: a mixture of unbridled whimsy with endless amounts of chocolate.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Améris and starring Benoît Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carré, it tells the story of a chocolate factory owner and a gifted chocolate maker whom fall in love as their life paths eventually merge. As with any romantic comedy, there has to be some sort of obstacle keeping these star crossed lovers apart, and in this case, it is the fact that both of the characters are pathologically shy and neurotic.
The early scenes of the film are genuinely amusing, poking fun at the lengths the characters go to in order to avoid actually admitting their feelings to one another. It doesn’t quite succeed in stretching this conceit across the entirety of its runtime, as the protagonists initially charming idiosyncacies quickly become downright grating.
There are mild pleasures to be gained from Romantic Anonymous, but like the confectionary featured throughout the film, they are fleeting and short-lived.
A final warning: Severe chocolate cravings will be induced by viewing this film.
Romantics Anonymous will be theatrically released on 19 April through Madman Films. This review was originally published in Edition 3 of Farrago Magazine.