Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The appeal of ‘Second Chance’ (La Chance De Ma Vie) can be neatly summed up in two words: quirky and charming.
Full of wit and biting humour, this French caper transcends its over-the-top premise to deliver a loveable rom-com that will leave you rooting for its irresistible leads.
Directed by Nicholas Cuche, ‘Second Chance’ tells the story of a brilliant marriage counselor, whose own relationships are train wrecks. A human equivalent to a black cat, Julien (Francois-Xavier Demaison) happens to jinx every woman who has fallen for him - landing them in hospital, ruining their careers, or destroying their relationships with family and friends.
He then crosses paths with the potential love of his life in Joanna (Virginie Efira), a talented designer who has everything going for her. A chance encounter at a wedding, where incidentally Julien was the shrink to a bickering couple at the altar, quickly blossoms into friendship and ultimately, romance.
However, things start to go awry when Julien decides to tell Joanna about the perils that usually follow the girl he dates. As if to prove his point, a series of unfortunate (albeit hilarious) events ensue, putting their relationship to the test.
The winning combination in this film is its perfect casting of the mismatched-yet-perfect-for-each-other couple. Belgian bombshell Efira, in her first major starring role, dazzles with magnetic screen presence while Demaison masterfully underplays his average Joe yet smooth-talking persona. The chemistry between them is undeniable.
The generous use of physical comedy also serves as the backdrop for some truly laugh-out-loud moments, none more so than a raucous early sequence involving Julien’s amorous conquests since young that results in grievous injuries to each girl.
While the cutesy tone and overall artsy European vibe of ‘Second Chance’ may put off some people hoping for a casual viewing experience, it’s snappy dialogue and relatable plight of an underdog down on his luck will definitely keep you emotionally invested.
The predictable and cringe-worthy plots that plague your typical romantic comedies thankfully don’t make an appearance here. But with this being a French movie, you can rest assure that they know what they’re doing.