IIFF 2010: A NY Thing


To help you narrow down the Indy Film Fest selection, we've chosen five films in the international category to recommend. Here's one of those five...

A NY Thing (Une aventure New-Yorkaise)

Director: Olivier Lecot

Cast: Jonathan Zaccai, Fanny Valette, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Greta Gerwig

France, 88 mins.

(English and French with English subtitles)

No matter what the language - the heart doesn't always listen to the head, even when every shred of logic and intelligence tells us to cut and run.

Why else would a seemingly normal guy chase a rather petulant girl halfway across the world in an effort to win her back - even when it's painfully clear that she doesn't want to return?

In A NY Thing, lovesick Antoine follows his Parisian girlfriend Alice to New York in hopes of talking her out of a permanent change in residence. He jumps on a plane on a whim, confident that the strength of his love and charm of his romantic gesture will sweep her off her feet and back into his arms.

Instead, he finds himself following in the footsteps of another famous Alice and careening down a rabbit hole directly into the Wonderland that is New York City. Despite its American setting, however, A NY Thing is a dark, funny and exceedingly French romantic comedy with universal themes and appeal.

Leading man Jonathan Zaccai's Antoine is a most likeable protagonist confronted with an altered reality from the moment he arrives in the city. Not only has his girlfriend turned out to be someone he barely recognizes, complete with an American boyfriend and social circle previously unknown to him, but this is his first trip to New York - a city that can be intimidating and overwhelming for strangers.

But Antoine is not a man easily dissuaded, even in the face of failure and fear. Over the course of three days and a series of bizarre encounters, he's able to conquer the city enough to navigate both its literal and emotional thoroughfares in his relentless pursuit of Alice, even and especially when his cause seems most lost and the odds of winning her back most ludicrous. The beautiful Fanny Valette portrays Alice with a superb mix of grace and fallibility.

From the moment the film begins, Antoine and the audience are on a fantastic voyage of discovery fueled by illicit drugs, uninhibited sex, steadfast love and sage advice from strangers. Despite the journey's disconcerting and disenchanting beginning, all parties finally get their bearings in the Big Apple, thanks in no small part to Antoine's charm and tenacity.

Bottom line: If you only see one movie at this year's IIFF, make it this one.


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