ReviewWriter: Sophia LingWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Before Midnight", "Midnight in Paris" and "To Rome with Love".
"Chinese Puzzle" is a fresh and witty romantic comedy that sees the return of Xavier Rousseau, a writer, amateur philosopher and father of two who still finds life very complicated. Romain Duris reprises his role as Xavier in this charming flick that is a follow up of Cedric Klapisch's "Pot Luck" (aka "The Spanish Apartment") and "Russian Dolls".
In the third installment, Xavier's marriage to Wendy goes bust and he decides to move to New York to be closer to his children. What follows is a series of adventures that complicates things but ultimately brings him closer to understanding life's mysteries.
"Chinese Puzzle" is successful in keeping audiences engaged with the many different complication in Xaviers' life. There's the tension between him and his ex-wife, the difficulties of being a foreigner living in New York, the stress of writing a novel while having Skype sessions with his Paris-based editor and the return of an old flame. Klapisch's manages to interweave each story with precision and the end result is a witty romantic comedy that sheds light onto the complexities of modern day living.
Taking on the role as both writer and director, Klapisch's seems to understand the needs of today's audiences. The tone of the entire film is light and audiences will enjoy the little montages and sequences that are included for comic relief. It's smart, funny and tastefully done all at the same time. The ensemble of brilliant actors that he's put together probably does help as well.
The cast features the talented Romain Duris who plays the charming Xavier Rousseau with such ease. Audrey Tautou plays the role of Martine (Xavier's ex-girlfriend in "Pot Luck") while Cecile de France plays Isabelle, Xavier's longstanding lesbian buddy. The entire cast gets to show off their more comedic side in this film. The chemistry between the characters is so great that it's as if they really are old friends just reuniting after a short absence.
This refreshing movie will attract fans of Linklater's "Before..." trilogy as well as fans of Woody Allen. It's a more light hearted romantic comedy compared to the "Before..." trilogy and it doesn't possess any of the subtle nuances that is often found in Woody Allen's work. Cinema Online, 12 December 2013