New films by Denys Arcand and Monia Chokri will be

“Simple as Sylvain”: a mature, sophisticated and very successful romantic comedy

In Just like SylvainIn her highly successful third feature, actress and director Monia Chokri abandons the stylistic effects of her previous two films to create a more mature and sophisticated work that revisits the codes of romantic comedy in her own way.

• HAVE: Magalie Lépine-Blondeau shines on the red carpet Just like Sylvain

Sophia (Magalie Lépine-Blondeau), 40, teaches philosophy at the University of the Third Age and has been living as a couple for 10 years with Xavier (Francis-William Rhéaume), a professor of political science. Sophia and Xavier lead busy social lives, surrounded by friends who they see regularly. But things are different in bed, as the couple has hardly had sex for years.

Sophia’s quiet everyday life is turned upside down one fall morning when she meets Sylvain (Pierre-Yves Cardinal), a contractor hired to renovate a chalet in the Laurentians that she has just purchased with Xavier.

Love at first sight between Sophia and Sylvain is as instant as it is stunning. Sylvain will quickly make up for the lack of affection (and carnal pleasures) that Sophia has long suffered from. Strongly attracted to this handy man who has nothing to do with her intellectual environment, she decides to leave Xavier to live with Sylvain. But will their love be strong enough to withstand their differences in social class and education?

With simplicity

We find in this new work by Monia Chokri (My Brother’s Wife, Babysitter) everything that makes her cinema so strong: biting humor, witty and well-crafted dialogues, a sophisticated aesthetic in which nothing has been left to chance (deserving special mention ). Photo direction by André Turpin, which is great).

But what’s most surprising about “Simple comme Sylvain” is precisely the simplicity (and authenticity) with which the director tells this story of love and desire – an approach that clashes with the completely fractured approach of his previous film, “Babysitter.”

By skillfully reappropriating the codes of romantic comedy, Monia Chokri explores the complexity of the feeling of love by reflecting on the place of desire in the couple, but also on the differences in social classes. “Simple comme Sylvain” offers some hilarious scenes, especially those in which the two lovers meet the family and friends of their new partners, the contrasts of their respective surroundings.

But what sets it apart above all is the tenderness and melancholy that this new film by Monia Chokri radiates. The film’s two main characters are played with great precision by Magalie Lépine-Blondeau and Pierre-Yves Cardinal. Her complicity is palpable and Chokri managed to film her intimate scenes with a mix of passion and sensitivity. Both funny and endearing, his Simply Like Sylvain is a perfectly mastered work that navigates brilliantly between romance and comedy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Simple as Sylvain, a film directed by Monia Chokri and starring Magalie Lépine-Blondeau, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Francis-William Rhéaume and Steve Laplante. To be seen on Friday.