Rialto Pictures (via the company's more mainstream division), ANYTHING FOR ALICE (Prêt à tout is its original title). Last year Rialto gave us another winning rom-com that offered something a bit different, The Stroller Strategy, and this new one proves a fine follow-up, as it details the budding romance between two college students, a dorky but charming young man and the politically exuberant, beautiful young woman for whom he falls.
Nicolas Cuche (shown at right) and written by Laurent Turner (The Prey), the latter with some help from Sabrina Amara and Eric Jehelmann, Anything for Alice, like The Stroller Strategy before it, revolves around, among other things, the plight of a single mother, although in this case, our heroine becomes that mother before she meets the man who is so interested in her. What distinguishes this little rom-com, aside from its sprightly nature and good performances, is its interest in the workplace, class distinctions, and the uses of money. The film is particularly funny regarding knee-jerk values and their representation by us humans on the left and the right.
Max Boublil (above, left) and Aïssa Maïga (above, right), both astute charmers who know their way around the rom-coms tropes.
Brewster's Millions, but with all the spending done for a different reason. (In our current "downer" times, Brewster's is a movie ripe for another remake, as the first one pretty much sucked. I wonder why this hasn't yet happened?)
Chantal Lauby (shown two photos up). Also very good are Max's two best pals (played by Redouanne Harjane, above, left, and Steve Tran, above, right), and a young and promising newcomer, Idriss Roberson (at right, three photos above), who plays Alice's son, a boy with a bad case of ochlophobia.
Laemmle's Royal. Elsewhere? I certainly hope so, though I find no other cities scheduled as yet. But maybe the movie will surface soon on DVD and/or digital streaming. If you're a fan of rom-coms-with-smarts, it's very much worth seeing.