French Girl

March 15, 202440/1006 min
Starring
Zach Braff, Vanessa Hudgens, Évelyne Brochu
Written by
James A. Woods and Nicolas Wright
Directed by
James A. Woods and Nicolas Wright
Run Time
1h 46min
Release Date
March 15th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

         Romantic comedies have certain things they need to have in order to be successful. With that said, you would think it would be a copy-and-paste situation and you would have a hit, but so many of them just fall flat. I am a rom-com fan, so I want them all to be good, and it only disappoints me more when I see one that looks like it has the right stuff, only to fail at what it is trying to do. French Girl had the right vibe, but the finished product just couldn’t get to that good place.

Gordon Kinski (Zach Braff) is an English teacher at a local middle school in NYC. His girlfriend Sophie (Evelyne Brochu) is an up-and-coming chef who has big dreams about where she wants to be. One day she gets an invitation that could take her there, which is to try out for a celebrity chef and their new restaurant, with the opportunity to become the lead chef there. The bigger plus is that if she wins, then she gets to move back near her family, as the restaurant is in Quebec City, where she is from. Gordon decides to go with Sophie, using it as a chance to meet her parents to ask for Sophie’s hand. All Gordon wants to do is impress, and sometimes his good intentions do not have the intended results. Meanwhile, Sophie is trying hard to win her dream job, but she is also keeping a secret from Gordon, that she is waiting for the right time to tell. That secret is the celebrity chef, who is a girl named Ruby Collins (Vanessa Hudgens), has some romantic history with Sophie. Gordon, though, finds out the truth beforehand, making this trip a little more complicated.

Written by James A. Woods and Nicolas Wright, who also directs the film, French Girl feels like it wants to be “Meet the Parents,” the French-Canadian version, but it never even gets close to that level. As I mentioned above, rom-coms need certain things to work, and a big one is chemistry between its two leads, and French Girl fails that test. You want to believe these two people met and fell in love, and for me, there was no time I felt that was the case. The other thing that doesn’t help is that Gordon and Sophie are separated for long stretches of time, all while the film delivers generic material that was outdated ten years ago.

French Girl doesn’t do a lot of things right, but it does have some things working for it. Both Hudgens and Braff are engaging and lively, but none of that equals more laughs. I do wish the filmmakers had not turned this into something that was too cartoonish, as well as not making Braff’s character such a numbskull. I really question if Braff was the right guy, as he has difficulty communicating his character’s appeal, leaving you to wonder why a girl like Sophie would even be with him. It is this and the other flaws that make this watch quite the labor, as for me, there is definitely no love in the air.

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