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Girl on a Bicycle

Movie Details

Girl on a Bicycle
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Release Date: 2014-02-14 Limited
  • Running Time: 101 min.
  • Director: Jeremy Leven
  • Cast: Nora Tschirner, Vincenzo Amato, Paddy Considine, Louise Monot, Stephane Debac, John Friedmann, Brice Fournier, Kellie Shirley, Martin Marquez, Christine Citti
  • Producers: Max Wiedemann, Quirin Berg
  • Writer: Jeremy Leven
  • Distributor: Monterey Media

Girl on a Bicycle is like Micki + Maude minus the outrage, complexity, or crack timing. In that 1984 Blake Edwards farce, a frazzled Dudley Moore impregnates both his chilly wife and earthy mistress. The Paris-set Bicycle's convoluted plot promises a similar degree of chaos, not least because of language barriers among the characters. Mopey Italian tour bus driver Paolo (Vincenzo Amato) proposes to pert, no-nonsense German flight attendant Greta (Nora Tschirner), then becomes smitten with Cécile (Louise Monot), a ravishing bicyclist and model who's raising two kids long-abandoned by their Australian baby daddy. After Paolo accidentally runs Cécile over, he becomes her caretaker, pretends to be her children's estranged father, and employs his foul-mouthed British pal Derek (Paddy Considine) to throw the increasingly suspicious Greta off his trail. Writer-director Jeremy Leven (who last directed Don Juan DeMarco 20 years ago, though he's since adapted a few tearjerkers, like Nicholas Sparks's The Notebook) is too reticent to make Paolo a cad, so, unlike in Micki + Maude, there are no dalliances, and this meek dilly-dallier only lies to one of the women. Leven's skirting over the potential sexual tension between Paolo and Cécile is galling; instead, he zeroes in on Paolo's sappy budding relationship with Cécile's button-cute offspring. And it's inconceivable that the lame ploys Derek and Paolo come up with, such as Derek’s faking an illness, would fool the wise Greta. Leven throws in a good deal of bedroom romps and nudity, most enjoyably during the film's best scene, Cécile's botched commercial shoot for a slippery soap product. But not even these lustrous displays of skin overcome the film's lethargy -- something you'd never encounter in even the worst of Edwards’s oeuvre.

Sam Weisberg

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