Some of the best French dramas often fail to be released here, yet we get an annual influx of the nation’s romantic comedies regardless of their quality. Delicacyis not one of the worst but neither is it particularly successful.
The ubiquitous Audrey Tautou plays young widow Natalie, an office worker whose insensitive, married boss continually pesters her for a date. One day, having shrugged off the lizard’s latest advance, she impulsively kisses a shocked male subordinate, Markus, on the lips (completely unbelievably) and then refuses to take responsibility for her actions.
That might have led to a productively sharp comedy about sexual harassment; not only the black and white areas but also the grey zones where a woman can, with one action, be a victim who fights back, and with the next, an offender. But co-directors David and Stephane Foenkinos (adapting the former’s novel) instead play cute, shying away from ironic observation and relying too heavily on charm.
At least François Damiens brings genuine likeability to Markus. Tautou’s saucer-eyes command attention, as always, but her alarmingly scrawny figure sends a peculiar message – especially as Natalie’s two male admirers repeatedly ignore her curvy female co-workers and best friend.