culturevulture.net – review

culturevulture.net – review

Four attractive, sophisticated and savvy Parisian women share the intimacies and intricacies of their lives in Gorgeous!, a fast-paced, entertaining and refreshing comic drama.

Gorgeous!, shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, explores the responsibilities, chaos and confusion in the lives of these contemporary women as they together cope with their children, husbands past and present, lovers, work, child care, extended family, and tax and parking problems.

Isa, engagingly portrayed by Michèle Laroque, is the frenetic head of a fashionable beauty salon, and is divorced with children. In addition to being audited by the French IRS, her au pair is being deported. But these problems turn into opportunities as she meets a sexy tax lawyer and uses her ingenuity to keep her au pair.

Isa, with Lea (Aure Atika), Alice (Valerie Benguigui) and Nina (Géraldine Nakache) are part of a large Sephardic Jewish family. Their noisy holidays and family dinners emphasize the food rather than the ritual. The affection among the family, especially for the mother (Marthe Villalonga) and old grandmother is both realistic and heartwarming.

In one very funny Passover dinner scene, the grandmother’s favorite question and answer TV game show has been edited by her grandson, so that the questions are about all things Jewish …and for once Grandma, to her delight, yells out all the correct answers.

The women of Gorgeous! will inevitably be compared to the four friends in Sex in the City, and there are similarities…they are inseparable and share their lives freely with each other. But these likable and sympathetic Parisian women have that sophistication and certain je ne sais qua that Carrie Bradshaw would appreciate and envy.

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Beverly Berning has recently begun her fourth career as a high school teacher of French and Italian, but her love of film remains steadfast. A former film student who aspired to be just like her idols Woody Allen, Erik Rohmer and Charlie Kaufman, she has been writing reviews for Culturevulture since 2006.