Genre: Comedy • Drama
Director: Cédric Klapisch
Starring: Karin Viard, Gilles Lellouche, Audrey Lamy, Raphaële Godin
Duration: 109 min.
France, a single mother from the blighted industrial north, and Steve, a hotshot trader with a keen eye for the killer deal, are thrown together when he's looking for a cleaner and she's looking for a job. When Alban, Steve's 3-year-old son, arrives on the doorstep to stay with his dad, Steve might need more than a cleaner; and France might need some payback from the man who single-handedly shut down the factory where she worked for years.
My Piece of the Pie is a film written and directed by French filmmaker Cédric Klapisch. It follows the stories of France (Karin Viard) a single mother of three recently unemployed when the factory she worked at for 20 years closed down; and Steve (Gilles Lellouche) a hotshot securities trader recently returned to Paris to manage a new fund after making a fortune in London.
Klapisch was first noticed internationally after making the successful light and clever young adult comedies starring Romain Duris, 2002's L'auberge espagnole and its 2005 sequel Russian Dolls. Lately he's switched to exploring different perhaps more mature themes starting with 2008's Paris, and now with My Piece of the Pie. Unfortunately he's either lost the ability to effectively portray the youthful charm he did so well in those earlier films or he's just mailing it in for a big budget paycheck.
Story wise this film fails, taking a decent scenario with the potential for a smart commentary about the current economic situation in Europe, but instead venturing into lazy and formulaic romantic comedy territory with characters that lack depth. Still there are a few funny moments to be had, both Karin Viard and Gilles Lellouche are accomplished actors who do the best with what they are given, and their banter had me roaring at times. Also Klapisch's frenetic visual style is nice to look at, with many high-speed tracking shots throughout, and another impressively crafted opening montage sequence. But in the end it's a largely disappointing, predictable and forgettable effort. Hopefully he will be able to recapture some of his old magic with his next film, Chinese Puzzle, another sequel and followup to Russian Dolls.
— Bonjour Tristesse