Release Date: January 13th, 2006 (NYC-Cinema Village and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas) by New Yorker Films.
The Cast: Yolande Moreau, Wim Willaert, Olivier Gourmet, Jan Hammenecker, Vincent Mahieu, Jackie Berroyer.
Directed by Yolande Moreau and Gilles Porte.
In French with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: No, this isn't about a sea that overflows. It's about Irène (Moreau), a performance artist, who develop a romantic relationship with Dries (Willaert), a parade float operator.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Yolande Moreau gives a wonderfully radiant performance as Irène, a lonely middle-aged woman with a charming personality. Her life consists mostly of touring the country with her one-woman comedy show. The show is a dark comedy which has a few dry laughs but it’s not as amusing as her funny mask and strange hairstyle. She does have a husband and daughter whom she barely has time to communicate with while on the road. After she meets Dries, a vagabond who also works as a parade float operator, her life is not the same. When they’re together, they have plenty of chemistry—but they do end up arguing for a brief time. There’s no action/suspense or laugh-out-loud comedy. Instead, there are realistic moments and realistically-drawn characters with quirky, dry comedy—unlike Elizabethtown , another romantic road movie. The beautiful scenery of the French countryside is often enchanting while the well-chosen classic soundtrack adds a level of sophistication and elegance. The simple, predictable plot has very few surprises, but still manages to be consistently entertaining thanks to the beautiful script that makes the bond between Irène and Dries very strong and believable. You truly care about them as human beings and want them to end up together.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: What could have been a depressing, sad film about loneliness ends up being a deeply satisfying and rousing experience. Irène’s warm smile and liveliness is quite contagious. Sometimes, meaningful relationships develop when you least expect them to. After watching When the Sea Rises , you will cherish every moment you spend with somebody who means something special to you. If you haven’t found that special somebody yet, there’s no reason to give up hope no matter how late it is in life.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A simple, sweet and rousing love story! Yolande Moreau gives a radiant performance!
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