Amelie (2001)

Amelie is one of those films that you will either love it or you won’t because the fact is, it marches to the beat of a different drum. It is a unique, whimsical Parisian world full of a quirky cast of characters headed by Audrey Tatou. 

The ever present narrator opens the film by relating Amelie’s childhood as a young girl who was forced to occupy her time with fantasy and her imagination. Soon we are introduced to this quirky little girl and all the other figures who take up space in her life. She was isolated and her mother died when she was very young leaving her to live with her father. When she is older, Amelie moves on and begins to work in a café. Then in 1997 the death of Princess Di and a bit of fate cause her to devote her life to bringing happiness to other people. She plays matchmaker, reunites an old man with boyhood treasures, guides a blind man through the city, spurs her father to travel through use of his beloved gnome, gives renewed hope to a widowed landlady, and puts an abusive grocer back in his place. Amid her many good deeds Amelie makes friends with as solitary and brittle painter as well as Lucien, the kindly assistant at the corner grocery. Most importantly Amelie begins to realize she is falling for an unknown man after she accidentally retrieves a scrapbook of his. She tries to deliver it back to him anonymously and it becomes a wild goose chase all across Paris, full of arrows, flyers, notes, and rendezvous. However, her shyness makes it difficult for her to approach him, but with a little prodding she finally goes after Nino Quincampoix and he finally meets his mysterious girl. 

This film had me in stitches at times,  attempting to catch up at times, and completely mesmerized in other moments. This film has wonderful characters and such an idiosyncratic, and often abrupt way of telling their story. It was a change of pace that I enjoyed and I believe that Amelie is an enjoyable albeit eccentric romantic comedy.

4.5/5 Stars

 

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