My Worst Nightmare #pff21

2012 Philadelphia Film Festival, Film Criticism, Film Festivals

My Worst Nightmare is a slight and more entertaining than not romantic comedy directed by Anne FontaineIsabelle Huppert plays Agathe, an uptight proprietor of an art foundation who crosses path with the crass father, Patrick (Benoît Poelvoorde), of one of her son’s friends. Agathe’s older boyfriend (André Dussollier) hires Patrick to perform some repair work on their apartment and the down on his luck handyman lingers in their home longer than Agathe can tolerate. Over the course of the film, Agathe loosens up thanks to the shenanegans of her unwelcome guest. Theoretically, hilarity ensues, but My Worst Nightmare is never quiet as funny as the filmmakers seem to think.

Fonatine uses the low brow Patrick to take some easy pot shots at the art establishment. This tension builds up to a final visual joke that is meant to shock but will probably illicit nothing more than a shrug from most viewers.

The plot of My Worst Nightmare grows increasingly complicated as Agathe’s boyfriend takes up with Patrick’s case worker and the custody of Patrick’s son vacillates between Agathe and Patrick leading to their unlikely matrimony.

My Worst Nightmare entertains mainly because Huppert is convincing as both the uptight Agathe of the opening and the more adventurous Agathe of the second half. Much of the humor is obvious and worth nothing more than a chuckle but occasionally the script provides some clever insights.

Using the festival’s scoring system, I rank My Worst Nightmare as Good or 3 out of a possible 5.

Check out all my 2012 Philadelphia Film Festival Posts!