Country: France / USA / Belgium
Movie Review: The adventures of Xavier Rousseau are best than ever in the bilingual “Chinese Puzzle”, this time with New York as background, after the two previous European stories, “L’auberge Espagnole” and “Russian Dolls”. The film, directed by a more mature Cedric Klapisch, stars Romain Duris as Xavier, a French writer in his 40’s, struggling to finish his novel in New York City, where he moved to be near his children. Xavier explains that life for most of the people resumes to move from point A to point B. But not for him who always has a problem with point B. In truth, Xavier life is a big confusion – he is in bad terms with the mother of his children; agrees to give a son to a lesbian friend who also moved to NY; is having a case with Martine - a French friend who speaks Chinese fluently and keeps visiting; and prepared a fake marriage with an American-Chinese woman in order to live legally in the US. Beyond that, he’s freaking out to find an apartment (all of them with crazy rents and tiny spaces) and a job that pays under the table, while dealing with the bureaucratic American lawyers and immigration services. Capturing so well the urban life of Manhattan and Brooklyn, this modern romantic drama puts us in face of the complex reality of human relationships, only interrupted by the imaginary visits from philosophers Schopenhauer and Hegel. Eventful, agitated and graciously funny, the American/French “Chinese Puzzle” is much recommended.