Sweet and delightful Girl on a Bicycle opens at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival and it’s good. Well acted, directed and with a cinematic show of Parisian charm, the movie discovers a different kind of romance that’s sudden and involving. If you like comedies that take you off center from the usual love story, then you have five chances to see the film starting today.
The story centers on Paola (Vincenzo Amato) a Paris tour bus driver who has been gearing up for a proposal to the lovely Greta (Nora Tschirner). They have been seeing each other for quite some time so Paola feels it’s time to tie the knot. He chooses the finest ring he can afford and asks her to marry him over a dinner at a fine restaurant.
That settled he’s back to work the next day showing the sites to tourists and enjoying the feeling of being in control of his destiny. At a stoplight a lovely young Parisian girl Cecile (Louise Monot) rides her bicycle up next to Paola’s tour bus. When their eyes meet he’s instantly smitten by her beauty and the charismatic smile she gives him. He figures it to be just an apparition, but now Paola starts feeling something way beyond the commitment he has for Greta. When he hits Cecile with his bus one day by accident and sends her to the hospital, Paola’s life starts to take a different direction.
The fun little film has some very good direction by Jeremy Leven who wrote Real Steal and The Notebook. Here he takes his audience into the dilemma of a man possessed by a connection he needs to verify so he can continue his life knowing he made the right choice. Leven moves his story along at a fast pace introducing Paola and the friends in which he needs to confide. As he weaves his comedy of indecision we get to see the power of this obsession and the developing chemistry that can tear relationships apart.
The acting by Vincenzo Amato as Paola makes the film work. He’s an Italian lover in every sense of the romantic meaning. He makes his character conflicted by Cecile’s beauty and the commitment with Greta, so much that he’s out of control giving bedside comfort to his newly found fixation. Nora Tschirner domineering Greta becomes the girl in the middle completely blind about Paola’s new passion, yet puzzled by his actions in and out of the bedroom. She gives the film an excellent character to make the story work and the outcome believable.
The cinematography is gorgeous at times showing the beauty of Paris and the quaint side streets and restaurants. Director Leven brings his camera up close showing the expressions on the actors, some creatively priceless.
The film has been rated R by the MPAA for some sexuality, nudity and language. It spools out with several languages including Italian, French and German, but mostly in English. Subtitles are provided for the foreign languages used to give the movie a feel of being in a foreign country. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that are very inappropriate for adolescents.
GIRL ON A BICYCLE is showing October 26 at 8:00pm in Sunrise Civic Center, November 1 at 7:30pm at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood, November 2 at 6:00pm at Muvico Pompano, November 3 at 5:30pm at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood and November 4 at 4:00pm at Muvico Pompano.
Specifications and additional film information:
Cast: Vincenzo Amato, Nora Tschirner, Paddy Considine
Director: Jeremy Leven
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality, nudity and language
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Running Time: 1 hr 50 min
Release Date: October 26 and Nov 1-4, 2013
Location: Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Language: English/French with English Subtitles
Distributed by: Monterey Media