GFF15 Review: The New Girlfriend (2014)



Françis Ozon follows-up In The House and Young & Beautiful with The New Girlfriend, a comic drama that starts out well, only to taper off towards the end. Left devastated by the death of her childhood friend, Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) sticks to her promise of looking out for widower David (Romain Duris) and their newborn baby – only to make an unexpected discovery that threatens to further unbalance her life. Adapted from a story by British writer Ruth Rendell, The New Girlfriend skirts around many of its weighty themes – the fluidity of sexuality and sorrow – and darker twists in favour of relatively light, heartfelt comedy. The lack of drama within the narrative is somewhat balanced out by the solid performances by both Demoustier and Duris, who make for a engaging pair, and moments that poke fun at the awkwardness and absurdity of David’s situation elicit solid laughs. There’s always the feeling, however, that if Ozon had dared more, The New Girlfriend’s psychological interior would have burned brighter.

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