This is a French film written and directed by Luc Besson. It is shot in Paris and is entirely in black and white. Which makes the city look so surreal, as well as, absolutely stunning. If you don’t understand French, be prepared to read subtitles (both English and Spanish are available).
First, I have a quick comment about subtitles. At one point in my life I wouldn’t even consider a movie if it had subtitles. Eventually, I got over that way of thinking and I have found so many wonderful movies I would have never seen if I hadn’t. I am at the point now where I don’t pay any attention to what language the movie is in as long as there are English subtitles available. It has opened a whole world of incredible movie experiences to me that I would have missed out on otherwise. Something to think about if you are subtitle shy.
Ok, back to the movie. Andre (Jamel Debbouze) is having a bit of a problem. He has been rather unsuccessful in his business ventures (aka gambling) and is now deeply in debt to more than one individual. Unfortunately, they have all gotten tired of his games and just want their money. They also have very unpleasant ways of dealing with you if the money isn’t delivered on time.
After trying several unsuccessful avenues to help alleviate his problem, he decides his only option is to end it all. Andre goes to the “Alexander III Bridge” (which I have to say is gorgeous) to jump off and kill himself. As he is contemplating his jump he sees a beautiful blonde woman on the bridge also. It seems she has the same idea as him.
He is trying to find out why she would want to jump; when suddenly she does just that. Andre is shocked by her actions and finds himself jumping in the water to save her. He manages to get her to the edge of the river and out of the water. It turns out her name is Angela (Rie Rasmussen) and now she wants to hang out with him. He is not thrilled with the idea, but is concerned if he leaves her behind she might try again, so he gives in.
This is where things turn very interesting, apparently there is more to Angela than meets the eye. She decides to help Andre sort out his problems. Which includes visiting the individuals he owes money to. It turns out she has some unusual negotiating techniques and ideas on how to earn the money he needs. Andre is really uncomfortable with things she is doing and tries to get her to stop, but Angela is very strong willed.
It really is a wonderful journey they take us on. It ends up being quite the learning experience for both of them. There is a lot of humor in the film, but the story is also very moving.
Jamel and Rie are absolutely fabulous together. They have incredible chemistry and both portray their characters so well. I also love the way their height difference is capitalized on; it is very visually interesting. Also, Luc is a fantastic director. He really knows how to get the best out of his actors and how to get incredible shots. I can’t say enough about how gorgeous this film is. Ok, does Rie have the longest legs you have ever seen or what?
Some of my favorite quotes:
Andre – Maybe it’s down to me being such a cute, fun-loving kind of guy. Who’s pretty hot in bed.”
Andre – “I can’t even kill myself without someone f*cking me up.”
Andre – “And give me some space. It feels weird.”
Angela – “Okay”
Andre – “And stop saying “okay” whenever I open my mouth.”
Angela – “Okay”
Angela – “He’s not a kitten. You’re dealing with a criminal. And you were bad like a fifth grader.”
Andre – “You can’t always say what you think.”
Angela – “Why not? Life might be cooler, no?”
Angela – “Come on, chill a little. You’re so tense. It makes you all wrinkly just there, like a turtle.”
Pedro – “What about your chick?”
Angela – “Should I answer or cluck?”
Andre – “And what’d you pick for a costume?”
Angela – “Sexy b*tch!”
Andre – “Sexy b*tch suits you.”
Angela – “Thank you!”
There is a “The Making of Angel-A” special feature which I found very interesting. It looks like they had a lot of fun during the filming of the movie. You will also find that Jamel has quite the sense of humor and is always joking around.
Following is additional information about the movie that contains spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read any further.
Too funny when he asks her if she likes “Simon Says” and she says yes and gets all excited about playing. The “crash them” part is priceless.
The scene when Angela is trying to get Andre to look at himself in the mirror and tell the good things about himself is just wonderful. It is incredibly moving and you can really feel how hard he is struggling, especially when he gets to the “I love you” part.
I love how at the end their roles are reversed and now it’s Andre that is trying to save Angela.