Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Chinese Puzzle": Attractive French People Have Better-Looking Problems 

Wednesday, May 21 2014
Comments

Cédric Klapisch's romantic comedy continues the transcontinental adventures of the beautiful French people chronicled in his previous films, Russian Dolls and L'auberge Espagnole, though Puzzle provides enough backstory for newbies to the series. When his ex-wife Wendy (Kelly Reilly) relocates to New York with their children, hunky series protagonist Xavier follows along, moving in first with his pal Isabelle (Cécile De France) and then into Isabelle's girlfriend Ju's (Sadrine Holt) old Chinatown apartment, all while struggling with complications including but not limited to writer's block, language barriers, American xenophobia, immigration officials suspicious of his marriage to a Chinese-American woman (Li Jun Li), and the appearance of his other ex, Martine (Audrey Tautou). No one plot element is more important than any other in Chinese Puzzle — which takes place over the course of a busy year — and it's less about the specifics of life's challenges than how the characters respond to them. It's also a celebration of modern New York from an outsider's perspective, making Chinatown look like a perfectly pleasant place to move into. The breezy Chinese Puzzle is no less concerned with what it means to be 40 than This Is 40, and the phrase "It's complicated" is used even more than in It's Complicated.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Phish at the Bill Graham Auditorium
    Phish is in the midst of a block of sold out shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (October 27-29). The Monday night concert featured a rare first set opener of “Walfredo” with the band members switching instruments for the song. The evening’s highlights included John Fishman and his iconic vacuum cleaner solo and favorites such as Chalk Dust Torture, Slave to the Traffic Light, Axilla, Rift, 2001 Space Odyssey, and Maze. The show also featured Phish’s debut of a, seemingly impromptu, version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to with roaring approval of the, singing along, crowd. With Game 6 being tonight, partying Phish fans will join Giants fans in Civic Center Plaza where there will be a World Series viewing party on a large screen set up by the City. Photography by Jamie Soja.
  • The 4th Annual Masquerotica 2014 - NSFW
    The theme this year was Carnaval Mystique for the 4th Annual Masquerotica at The Factory. Attendees were entertained by strip dance, trapeze, and live music. Photographs by Calibree Photography.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed