Bordering on offensive in both plot and title, French romantic-comedy-drama film Rolling to You is a thinly veiled yet delightfully funny story about an egotistical middle-aged man named Jocelyn (Franck Dubosc – who also serves as writer-director) who pretends to be a wheelchair-bound paraplegic so he may court women.
During his endeavour to suit assistant carer Julie (Caroline Anglade), he is introduced to her sister Florence (Alexandra Lamy), a woman that is paraplegic to whom he becomes affectionate for throughout the film.
There is a lot of fun to be had with the film’s sense of humour, with the use of comedy functioning to highlight Jocelyn’s reprehensible actions but also to make the viewer fall in love with the wickedly sharp Florence. Only until Jocelyn begins to realise his emotions and the heartaches his lies will have on Florence does change the film’s course and shift-gears into melodrama.
While not a perfect movie, the repeated use of Jocelyn almost-getting-caught-out and do-I-tell-her-the-truth moments become excessive, with these well-trodden beats making Rolling for You feel stuck throughout the middle of the film.
Both Dubosc and Lamy excel in their roles, elevating what could read as generic rom-com story tropes into something more. It is Lamy however that steals every scene, using every opportunity to present herself with much strength, intelligence, and wit.
Rolling to You is bold in its approach, functioning as an over-the-top black-comedy that is unafraid to crack jokes which verge on inappropriate but are executed with such levels of respect to its characters that it never feels insulting.
Rolling to You screens as part of the 2019 Alliance Française French Film Festival. For more information, screening locations and times, visit: www.affrenchfilmfestival.org for details.
Image: Franck Dubosc and Alexandra Lamy features in Rolling to You (supplied)
Review: Hagan Osborne