Abel’s (Louis Garrel) girlfriend, Marianne (Laetitia Casta) has something to tell him. She’s pregnant and the father is one of their good friends, Paul. On top of that because of Paul’s parents and their values on pregnancy out of wedlock, they must get married as soon as possible. In fact, they’re getting married very soon… in ten days.
Some years later, Abel and Marianne reunite, for Paul’s funeral, and it isn’t long before their feelings for each other start to reignite, despite Marianne’s son, Joseph (Joseph Engel) and his wild imagination nearly pulling their relationship apart.
Then there’s Eve (Lilly-Rose Depp), Paul’s younger sister who has always had a crush on Abel since she was a child, but now that she’s a grown woman and despite her slight awkwardness whenever she sees him, she decides that now is the right time to make her move.
A Faithful Man is a quirky French romantic comedy that at first seems like something of a vanity project. After all, Louis Garrel is not only the lead, but is also the co-writer and director, so the whole thing starts to feel like a male fantasy gone out of control. However, behind this romantic comedy’s unusual set up is a morality tale of sorts that tells the audience that having is not always as pleasing as wanting.
As the story goes on, the love triangle does start to get a little convoluted and when Paul has to make a big decision it may divide the audience. However, this is the point where the movie saves itself at the very last minute as it pulls back, showing the reality of everybody getting what they always wanted.
At the heart of the story is a tale of grief, regret and loss, with every character longing in some way for something they have lost and wishing that things had turned out differently.
However, despite some unusual behaviour from some of its characters, the part of the story that the audience may have forgotten is the part that ties it all together. A Faithful Man gives its audience pause for thought as it comes to its final moments and feels more substantial than its short running time, but its mixture of dark comedy and underlying drama manages to keep a steady balance.
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