Too improbable to be believable but the acting is quite nice

by Martin Hafer

A man misses his train and as a result he meets a lady. They spend the night together (you aren’t sure if they had sex as this is a bit vague) and before he leaves the next morning to go home, they agree to meet. But they don’t know each other’s names. He is late for the meeting (because he’s an idiot) and she eventually leaves — which would normally be the end of that. However, some time passes and the same man ends up meeting another woman. They fall in love and marry … but it turns out she’s the sister of the woman he meets at the beginning of the film. Talk about awkward family reunions?!

When the new husband sees his sister-in-law later, they naturally recognize each other but neither says anything. Several years pass and there still is an unspoken awkwardness between the man and his sister-in-law. Out of the blue, they begin an affair. Not surprisingly, this isn’t a particularly good idea and things get complicated, though, by the end of the film, you get the idea everything will inexplicably work out fine!

3 Hearts
Directed by
Benoît Jacquot
Benoît Poelvoorde, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni
Release Date
Martin’s Grade: C

One thing I appreciated in this film, as well as in many French films, is that the folks in the movie are not Hollywood beauties nor even close to it. They seem very ordinary and middle-aged and this makes the film seem a bit more real. This being said, however, the story is very contrived. After all, what are the odds of any of this happening?! The coincidence that the woman he marries is the sister of the woman at the beginning of the film? That he would end up being late just like in An Affair to Remember (minus the auto accident), and that the two at the beginning of the film would later become lovers, especially since they never really talked between then and the beginning of the movie. And, ultimately, that the mother-in-law would somehow guess exactly what is happening, despite there really being no evidence of this affair. All of this seems a bit far-fetched. Additionally, it was very difficult to empathize with the characters who had the affair as they just seemed rather selfish. Despite all that, I still give the film a C, simply because the acting is very good and the film looks nice.