For once in a movie, a free-spirited girl is presented credibly and even as largely likable (and not just as a concept). This is 20-something Venus (Veroushka Knoge), a French-speaking Russian who pals around with French lass Fleur (Isabelle Pires), a rather shy and reserved person. Emmanuel Mouret‘s Venus et Fleur (2004) is a breezy, sexy romance in which the two friends search for a boyfriend and are none too fastidious. What also makes the film commendable is its subtle unpredictability.

For the most part, life is good in Venus et Fleur—the ending is slightly rueful, though—in the sphere of French Prosperity. Mouret has learned from Rohmer and Truffaut, his movie having a look both unadorned and beautiful. It lasts only an hour and 15 minutes. And I will say again that it’s sexy, casually so. Knoge is as cute as a button.

(In French with English subtitles)