May contain mild spoilers
Populaire is a French romantic drama set in the late 1950s. It’s a simple, predictable but sweet film about a provincial girl setting out to conquer the world. Small town girl Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) has dreams of being a typist and one day travels by bus to her nearest town to apply for a job with a local Insurance Man, Louis Échard (Romain Duris). Her lack of style and understanding of metropolitan life as well as general clumsiness make her stand out from the other applicants, but not in the way she hoped. Demonstrations of her speed typing though, peak the interest of her would be boss and he hires her before deciding to train her for speed typing competitions. With a frisson of sexual excitement and the possibility of proving her father wrong, Rose begins to excel in the unusual sport in which she partakes.
It’s obvious to see from the get go, who the target audience for this film is. Shortly before it began, from our usual seats At the Back, my girlfriend whispered in my ear, “Look at all the shiny heads”. It was true that we were the youngest people in the screening by about thirty years. The film has a simplistic charm and the sort of slow, blossoming romance that will appeal more to the older generation than to those of us with our own teeth and you can tell from the very first scenes exactly where it’s going and what will happen but sometimes it’s nice to get that from a film. Occasionally I don’t mind the odd ‘awww’ moment from a movie but I don’t think Populaire will be popular with all.