Dir: Christian Vincent. Fr. 2006.100mins.
A mildly entertaining French boulevard farce, Four Stars is much better suited to aswift home release than the spotlight of a festival like Berlin where itpremiered.
Very much in the traditionof light Gallic comedies sustained by gags and assembly line jokes, ChristianVincent's new feature matches a pretty English teacher who spends all hermodest inheritance on a Riviera binge with a conman - who himself cannot butfall for her by the end titles.
Given the presence of suchwell-recognised stars as Isabel Carre, Jose Garciaand Francois Cluzet, it has a good chance of drawingattention at home but reduced prospects further afield.
Franssou (Carre), anEnglish-language teacher living in Paris, is left 50,000 Euros by hergrandmother as her only surviving relative.
As the sum is too modest fora radical change of life, she blows it all on a luxury Cannes holiday. With thetypical insouciance of the genre, a fast-talking gentleman, Stephane(Jose Garcia) invades her room as she is taking her bath.
The result is a classicalcoup de foudre, at least for Franssou,who sticks to the shady Monsieur Stephane, like ashadow, undeterred by his visible indifference to her charms and his evidentmoney problems with short-tempered loan sharks.
Sex, love and companionship,are beyond his scope: all he needs is a rich patsy to fleece at ease (like abumbling former racing car champion, played by Francois Cluzet,to who he tries to sell a villa he does not own).
Following old-fashionedtemplates to a T, Franssou falls for Stephane, Stephane attempts topeddle her off to the amorous race driver, Franssou pretends to go along with his match-making.Naturally, at the crucial moment, love beats money and Stephaneelopes with Franssou.
The prefabricated script -which is occasionally clever when it remembers all of the plot devices it hasbeen planted along the way - is efficiently brief to save it from having toexplain too much.
The three leads areadequately presentable if flat, and their talents are barely tapped.Photography is pretty enough for those who yearn for the Cote D'Azur.