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"AMÉLIE"
(2001) (Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Moderate Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Subtitled Romantic Comedy: After helping an adult stranger revisit his childhood, a young waitress sets out to help others find happiness in their lives.
PLOT:
Amélie Poulain (AUDREY TAUTOU) is a young woman who works as a waitress at The Two Windmills, a small café in the Montmartre district of Paris. Having lost her mother at a young age and then being raised by her cold physician father, Raphael (RUFUS), Amélie has grown up as an innocent with a vivid imagination.

Like her painter neighbor, Raymond Dufayel (SERGE MERLIN), known as the glass man for his brittle bone condition that's kept him in his home for the past twenty years, Amélie lives in her own world, observing but rarely interacting with others outside the café where she works for Suzanne (CLAIRE MAURIER), the owner, and serves regulars such as Hipolito (ARTHUS DE PENGUERN), a failed writer.

That changes when she accidentally finds a small, hidden tin filled with childhood mementos in her apartment. Setting out to return them to their now middle-aged owner, Dominique Bretodeau (MAURICE BÉNICHOU), Amélie revels in the anonymous joy she feels upon seeing him rediscover himself. From that point on, the young woman decides to make it her mission to help others find happiness in their lives.

Among those she targets is Madeleine Wallace (YOLANDE MOREAU), a longtime widow who still longs for her husband and suddenly starts receiving long lost letters from him, thanks to Amélie. Then there's Georgette (ISABELLE NANTY) the hypochondriacal tobacconist at the café whom she slyly fixes up with Joseph (DOMINIQUE PINON), the bitter ex-lover of Gina (CLOTILDE MOLLET), another waitress at the café.

Amélie also decides to help Lucien (JAMEL DEBBOUZE), a friendly man who's always picked on and insulted by his employer, Collignon (URBAIN CANCELLIER), the local grocer, via a series of practical jokes that soon cause the mean man to question his sanity. She even tries to brighten the life of her father by having his beloved gnome figure travel the world.

Amélie also decides to cautiously approach Nino Quicampoix (MATHIEU KASSOVITZ), a young man who she sees as something of a kindred spirit and to whom she's attracted. Although he holds down various jobs, Nino's odd hobby of collecting discarded and torn up pictures from photo booths around the city fascinates Amélie and she sets out, in her own imaginative and highly complex way, to finally meet this man. As she does so and continues in her efforts to help others, she spreads joy through the lives of those she touches.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It probably won't be on many kids' radar screens, but older teen looking for a well-made and imaginative foreign film will probably like to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • AUDREY TAUTOU plays a young, sheltered and imaginative waitress who finds joy in helping others find the same in their lives. Accordingly, she concocts various plans to do just that, and even pulls a few practical jokes on a mean grocer to make him be more kind to his employee.
  • MATHIEU KASSOVITZ plays a young man who works in both an adult novelty store and an amusement park haunted house, but finds joy in collecting old and discarded pictures at photo booths around the city. As Amélie enters his life, he finds himself interested in her.
  • RUFUS plays Amélie's father, an emotionally distant man whose life is brightened by his daughter's efforts.
  • SERGE MERLIN plays Amélie's elderly neighbor who hasn't left his home for decades due to a brittle bone condition, but nevertheless helps her find joy in her life.
  • YOLANDE MOREAU plays a widow who still misses her long-dead husband and finds joy when Amélie starts sending her letters from him.
  • URBAIN CANCELLIER plays the mean-spirited and demeaning grocer who's always disrespectful to his employee.
  • DOMINIQUE PINON plays a regular at the café who essentially stalks Gina, his former love, until Amélie sets him up with Georgette.
  • ISABELLE NANTY plays one of Amélie's coworkers who's a hypochondriac and finds herself falling for Joseph after Amélie slyly sets them up.
  • JAMEL DEBBOUZE plays a young grocery employee who's always picked on by his mean boss.
  • ARTHUS DE PENGUERN plays another café regular and failed writer.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated romantic comedy. Sexually related material includes a montage of quickly edited shots of many people having sex (with movement, sounds and some nudity), another of the protagonist having sex (movement and sounds) with another, later implied encounter, and a couple loudly having sex in a public bathroom (movement and sounds).

    One character works in a an adult novelty store where we see many dildos, a topless woman suggestively dancing in an observation room, and many videos, photos and other sex related paraphernalia. In addition, some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, as is a time-lapse montage of a pregnant woman's nude belly growing (we also see her bare breasts) and a quick shot of childbirth that shows the mother's genitals.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while several instances of imitative behavior - including pulling practical jokes on another person - are also present. Various characters drink, while a falling suicide victim accidentally lands on and kills a mother (played for laughs and leading to some tense family moments in the form of a young girl growing up with an emotionally distant father), while other brief violence is also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information about the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see some wine in wine glasses.
  • Hipolito and others drink in the café, and later do the same.
  • A woman pours some sort of liquor for Amélie and herself.
  • Bretodeau downs a shot of cognac and then orders another while Amélie drinks some wine.
  • In an old film, some people drink.
  • Amélie and her father have wine with a meal.
  • Amélie jokes that she had two heart attacks, took some crack and had an abortion while pregnant just to see if her father is listening to her.
  • We see that Lucien has brought Dufayel all sorts of good food, including a bottle of champagne.
  • Joseph has a drink.
  • Collignon pours himself a drink, but only takes a sip before spitting it out (due to Amélie pouring salt or something similar into the bottle).
  • Joseph has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a very quick shot of childbirth that briefly shows the mother's genitals and a tiny bit of accompanying blood/fluids.
  • We see Raphael standing next to another man urinating in a bathroom, but don't see anything explicit.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A neighbor of Amélie's -- when she's young -- tells her that her taking pictures with a camera caused a traffic accident (thus causing her to think her previous picture taking also had calamitous effects).
  • Joseph is somewhat stalking Gina as he sits in the café where she works, stares at her, and records various vocal notes on his tape recorder about her.
  • Collignon constantly belittles Lucien in front of others and even slaps him on the back of the head. He later states that someone must have peed in his mother (presumably meaning when he was conceived).
  • We see a flashback to some classmates putting Nino butt first into some sort of wooden bucket/trash can and leaving him stuck that way.
  • Some may not like a scene where Amélie jokes that she had two heart attacks, took some crack and had an abortion while pregnant just to see if her father is listening to her.
  • Some may see Amélie's practical jokes on Collignon as having both types of attitudes, even if she's putting him in his place for mistreating Lucien.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Amélie briefly rides a haunted house ride at a fair and the scene may be a little bit spooky for a moment to some viewers (as we hear some scary sounds).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Amélie imagines a humorous fantasy scenario where Nino is kidnapped at gunpoint (guns are held to his head and are later aimed at him again).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases (in French with English subtitles): "Nut" (crazy person), "Nuts" (crazy), "Moron(s)," "You dope" and "Cram it."
  • We see young Amélie doing all sorts of goofy things at the beginning of the film, such as having strawberries on the ends of each of her fingers and then sucking them off one by one.
  • Seeking revenge on a neighbor who lied to her about causing various accidents, Amélie sits on his roof and repeatedly unplugs the antennae feed to his TV during a soccer match (with him not knowing she's doing it).
  • Joseph is somewhat stalking Gina as he sits in the café where she works, stares at her, and records various vocal notes on his tape recorder about her.
  • We see a flashback to some classmates putting Nino butt first into some sort of wooden bucket/trash can and leaving him stuck that way.
  • We see a brief flashback of a boy spying on his shapely aunt through a hole as she bends over and we see a great deal of cleavage.
  • Amélie sneaks into Collignon's place and sets up various practical jokes to get back at him for mistreating Lucien. Among them, she adjusts his alarm clerk ahead several hours and switches his toothpaste with some foot cream, and then does the same with his doorknobs (front to back). She then pours something that may be salt into his liquor and places a small pin through his lamp's electrical cord so that when he plugs it in it pops and sparks. She also puts lower wattage bulbs in his lamps, reprograms his phone's auto-dialer to other numbers, and switches his slippers with smaller ones.
  • Amélie puts metal slugs into a photo machine to jam it up and then calls in that it's broken (so that she can see the repairman).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of comically suspenseful music plays during a funny scene.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "craps" are used (in French with English subtitles).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a quick time lapse of Amélie's nude mother and her pregnant belly growing (we also see her bare breasts) after seeing a brief microscopic view of her father's sperm (and hearing about it making a dash for an egg in his wife). We then see a very quick shot of childbirth that briefly shows the mother's genitals.
  • We see Raphael in some clingy bathing trunks when he gets out of the pool.
  • We see the tops of a woman's bare breasts as she sits in a bathtub.
  • We hear that Amélie tried sex once or twice, but that the results were a let down (all while we see her amused facial reaction as a man is on top of her moving during sex in a head and shoulders shot seen from above them - with some sounds).
  • As we hear that Amélie likes to figure out how many couples are having orgasms at any given moment, we see a quick succession of very brief shots of many couples having sex (from various positions with movement, bare breasts and exaggerated orgasmic sounds).
  • Amélie shows a bit of cleavage in a few scenes, as do a few other women.
  • A woman mentions knowing her husband had an affair and that he and his lover used every hotel around.
  • Joseph makes a comment into his tape recorder about a woman laughing orgasmically and later comments on something being prenuptial or post-coital. Much later, he makes a comment about a "docking schedule" (possibly about sex when referring to two people hooking up).
  • We see a brief flashback of a boy spying on his shapely aunt through a hole as she bends over and we see a great deal of cleavage.
  • Amélie calls a number left by Nino and is surprised when she gets the Porno Video Palace. The man who answers the phone then asks her if she's over eighteen and if she's shaved (saying that "fur pie" doesn't sell).
  • As they begin to flirt, Joseph reaches his finger down into Georgette's cleavage while telling her she has something there (as if he's going to remove something). The two eventually end up in the public bathroom where they passionately make out, he nuzzles her neck and the two then have sex while standing. While we don't see anything explicit (other than a partial, upper-body silhouette of them behind the smoked door window), we hear various sexual sounds (that get louder as the encounter progresses and includes her sexual sounds and sounds of the movement) and see various objects in the café rhythmically moving to their sexual movement.
  • Amélie goes into the Porno Video Palace to return Nino's photo album to him. While she's in there, we see various small photos and videotape covers in the background that show bare-breasted women, along with many dildos for sale.
  • Later and in the same location, we see more small photos of bare-breasted woman as well as boxed dildos that are being priced by one of Nino's co-workers.
  • We see video footage of babies "swimming" underwater and see a few brief shots of the males' genitals.
  • We see a topless woman in a bikini bottom dancing around inside a viewing booth at the Porno Video Palace (and briefly see a close-up view of her butt in that bottom).
  • Nino and Amélie passionately kiss and we then see them in bed together presumably after sex. He's asleep with his head on her bare chest and we briefly see part of her bare breast.
  • SMOKING
  • Georgette is the tobacconist at the café and sells a pack of cigarettes to some miscellaneous woman.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that young Amélie longed for physical contact with her father, but only received it during her routine medical exams.
  • We see Amélie's mother be killed when a suicide victim accidentally lands on her after falling from the top of a cathedral (all played for laughs with no gore).
  • A woman mentions her husband having an affair long ago in the past and then later dying.
  • Bretodeau admits not seeing his adult daughter in years and never having met his grandson.
  • Amélie imagines seeing her own funeral and that of her father's on TV.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Anonymously setting out to help or play practical jokes on others.
  • The way in which Paris is presented here (apparently some people have been saying it's too sanitized, etc.).
  • Those who don't let others go after breaking up with them and then seemingly stalking them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see Amélie's mother be killed when a suicide victim accidentally lands on her after falling from the top of a cathedral (all played for laughs with no gore).
  • A car crashes into another, but no one is apparently hurt.
  • Collignon slaps Lucien on the back of the head.
  • Amélie imagines a humorous fantasy scenario where Nino is kidnapped at gunpoint (guns are held to his head and are aimed at him again later).
  • Joseph and Hipolito get into a brief spat and briefly struggle with each other.



  • Reviewed November 7, 2001 / Posted November 16, 2001

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