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Jet Lag   B-

Miramax Films

Year Released: 2002 (USA: 2003)
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Daniele Thompson
Writers: Daniele Thompson, Chistopher Thompson
Cast: Jean Reno, Juliette Binoche, Sergi Lopez.

Review by Sean O'Connell

Jet Lag qualifies as the best Meg Ryan movie I've seen in years. No, Ryan isn't in this film, though her fingerprints are all over it. Somewhere in Hollywood, a lazy producer is currently re-casting French director Daniele Thompson's harmlessly sweet romantic comedy with Ryan in Juliet Binoche's role and either Tom Hanks or Hugh Grant in Jean Reno's. Sadly, it will probably make a fortune.

Lag strands two strangers, Rose (Binoche) and Felix (Reno), in Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport during an air controller's strike, then sits back and allows fate to guide their interactions. Several hurdles must be jumped before their hearts can intertwine. She's running from an abusive lover, while he's desperately trying to get to Munich to attend the funeral of his girlfriend's grandmother. Everything from the labor protest to weather conditions keeps them in each other's flight patterns long enough for love to bloom.

There isn't one moment where you'll question Lag's destination, but you should enjoy the ride. The whole production is charming in its predictability, yet not without its pleasures. The leads share a very casual chemistry, an odd couple that refreshingly isn't at odds with each other. Binoche, her hair coiffed in Audrey Hepburn chic, convincingly evolves Rose from flighty to feisty without losing her feminine warmth. And Reno finds humanity amidst a world of foibles. A haggard workaholic, his Felix must contend with a hatred of pungent odors and a blood pressure condition that causes him to periodically pass out. Still, the flow these talents bring to their staged interactions helps us better appreciate the journey.

Simply put, Jet Lag delivers what it promises with no real panache. By the time we reach our generic and foreseeable conclusion, we honestly hope these two lost souls reunite. And isn't that the goal?

Review published 09.23.2003.

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