Antoine (Daniel Auteuil of The Closet), the busy manager of a fancy restaurant, cuts through a park in his rush to meet his frustrated girlfriend, Christine (Marilyne Canto), when he stumbles across Louis (José Garcia) attempting to hang… More Antoine (Daniel Auteuil of The Closet), the busy manager of a fancy restaurant, cuts through a park in his rush to meet his frustrated girlfriend, Christine (Marilyne Canto), when he stumbles across Louis (José Garcia) attempting to hang himself. Antoine foils his efforts and takes the intensely phobic, despondent klutz home, much to Christine's chagrin. Lovesick Louis recalls that he's sent his "suicide note" to his elderly grandparents, so Antoine goes with him to intercept the letter. Antoine finds himself taking responsibility for Louis' life, getting him a job as a sommelier at the restaurant (despite his total lack of knowledge about wine and his nervousness around strangers) and going to visit Louis' ex-girlfriend, Blanche (Sandrine Kiberlain of Alias Betty), a florist, and the cause of his heartbreak. Antoine finds that Blanche has a new boyfriend, and cunningly arranges for her to discover his infidelity. But when he offers Blanche comfort, she begins to feel drawn to him. With Antoine's encouragement, Louis gradually develops a newfound confidence, dressing better and excelling at work, all with an eye toward winning Blanche back. Antoine, meanwhile, is falling apart as he gets more involved in trying to fix Louis' life. Christine breaks up with him, and he struggles to hold it together at work. Worse yet, he finds himself increasingly attracted to Blanche, and conflicted in his allegiance to Louis. Pierre Salvadori's romantic farce Après vous... was shown at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Rendezvous With French Cinema in 2004.
Consensus: This farcical French comedy of errors is well-acted, but the absurdities feel too forced to make such a light confection work.