I don't like cute. Sure, I enjoy seeing your beautiful baby or adorable puppy, but only for a minute. Beyond that, I get cranky. Delicacy's Audrey Tautou makes me nearly as cranky as Meg Ryan in her floppy-haired "Aren't I darling?" prime or Zooey Deschanel in the insufferable early episodes of New Girl. Remember the image of Tautou on the posters for Amelie? In the photo, she actually looks like a caricature of herself. And in the movie - for Pete's sake, how twinkly can one woman get without exploding into a rainbow of glitter and sugar crystals?
Delicacy is a subtitled French romance directed by brothers David and Stephane Foenkinos (from a screenplay by David based on his novel). In the movie, Tautou finds love, then loses it, then grieves in a most attention-getting fashion, then makes the first tentative steps in moving on. Oh, the opportunities for Tautou to sparkle and frolic, to mourn gorgeously, to act impulsively, and then to flutter between petulance (empowered petulance) and impishness! Oh, my aching brain.
Yet I've got to admit, the film is a lot easier to take than I thought it would be. It's slow when it gets to the mourning/first tentative steps parts, but I didn't feel the urge to kill nearly as much as I expected. Your mileage may vary, depending on your appreciation of posters of kitty cats dressed like people.
The story: Francois (Pio Marmai) meets Nathalie (Tautou) in a coffee shop or something. He thinks (and psychically tells viewers) that he will approach her if she orders apricot juice. She does - after nearly ordering coffee! - and a magical love is born. They marry and live in bliss until he gets killed while biking. Nathalie almost immediately returns to work, dealing with the grief by burying herself in business tasks and staring into the distance like a model in a full-page perfume ad. Her piggish boss (Bruno Todeschini) hits on her, laying the groundwork for some villainy later. Then she impulsively kisses Marcus (Francois Damiens), a schlubby coworker, in the most unconvincing scene in the film. A relationship kinda sorta starts between the two, while the boss simmers and ... you figure out the rest.
The slow progress of the kinda sorta relationship is tedious, with both parties bruising easier than a ripe banana. Other annoyances include characters sharing their thoughts with us in voiceovers, the frequent ballads with painfully relevant lyrics and music video imagery, and the party scene where Nathalie's friends treat Marcus like merde because he's Swedish and not handsome. On the plus side, Francois Damiens does nice work as Marcus, who says he is a better man when he's in sync with Nathalie. Damiens demonstrates this effectively, transforming into a smoother, more confident and generally appealing fellow when around his would-be sweetie. And Tautou is fine when she cuts out all the cutesy stuff and behaves like a person rather than Tinker Bell.