Jet Lag Review
By Shawn McKenzie 07/11/2003
A chick flick can be so-so in any language, but I noticed something in Jet Lag that I hadn’t noticed before: Jean Reno can really act when he speaks his own language.
Félix (Reno) is a hypochondriac who has pills for every ailment he thinks he has. He is a former New York chef who is now the owner of a gourmet frozen food franchise. He is at Paris’ Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport to take a flight to Munich to meet his ex-girlfriend Nadia and attend her grandmother’s funeral. Rose (Juliette Binoche) is a beautician who is trying to get away from her abusive boyfriend of twelve years, Sergio (Sergi López), by accepting a job in Acapulco. She is talking on her cell phone to her friend when she accidentally flushes the cell down an airport toilet. Desperate to tell her friend about her plans, she sees Félix and asks to borrow his cell phone. Both of their flights are delayed due to bad weather and strikes, and Félix is set up in the Paris Hilton while Rose has to sleep on a bench in the airport. Since Rose’s friends and family now had Félix’s cell phone number (due to caller I.D.), he had become more involved in Rose’s life than he had intended. When he sees her preparing to sleep on the bench for the night, he feels sorry for her and invites her to share his room at the Hilton. In terms of personality, they are opposites. He likes to keep to himself, and she likes to talk to everyone. At first, they get on each other’s nerves, but eventually begin falling for each other. She sees that she doesn’t need a bad boy, and he realizes that he misses being a chef and the relationship he used to have with his father (Raoul Billerey.) They have to make the decision whether their simultaneous attempts to deal with their exes is the right way for them.
I’ve always found Reno a very stiff actor. When he does an English-speaking role, it always feels like he is reading his lines instead of saying them. In this movie, he gets to speak his own language, which allowed him to be much more expressive. Binoche can be expressive in either English or French, and was okay here.
The movie itself was cute, but just okay. The performances were fine, but the story was bland. The movie resembled the 1999 Ben Affleck/Sandra Bullock movie Forces of Nature in plot, except there was no road trip.
I suppose that if you are in the mood to see a French chick flick, Jet Lag will do. The movie isn’t bad or boring, and Reno actually does some of his best acting here, but there is nothing too exciting either. Maybe I just got jet lag myself watching it.
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