Apparently, Audrey Tautou is engaged in a heroic quest to fulfill France’s export quota for genial, nondescript romances all by her lonesome. She plays a widow taking halting steps toward love in David and Stéphane Foenkinos’s adaptation of the former’s novel. It’s not quite A Very Long Engagement, but the brothers take their time establishing the bond between Tautou and Pio Marmaï, going from meet cute to marriage before his character is run down in the street. Tautou’s Nathalie mourns, fending off the advances of her boss (Bruno Todeschini), and then impulsively plants a wet one on unsuspecting coworker Markus (François Damiens).
The lumbering Swede is promptly smitten, but Nathalie feigns amnesia when he follows up. He’s so consistently overlooked that it’s not clear for a while whether it’s a running gag or whether he’ll turn out to be as insubstantial as Jimmy Stewart’s rabbit friend. But he proves solid in every sense, as blandly likable as the film itself.
Delicacy breaks from its monotonous forward march for the requisite Amélie-isms, although in a mild twist they’re allocated to Damiens instead of Tautou; Markus walks up the street in a giddy post-kiss haze, approvingly eyed by a string of fantasy women, and asks Nathalie to dinner by holding open an invisible door. It’s sweet and uncomplicated, a perfect rebound relationship. Still, at a certain point, you’re ready to move on to something meatier.