Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
The Stroller Strategy: A Baby Not Having a Baby
could be more attractive than accidental fatherhood? Do not fret.
This mostly unemployed freelance artist is not really a new father. He is just trying to take advantage of an
unlikely set of circumstances to win back his former girlfriend in Clément
Michel’s The Stroller Strategy (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
Deville fell for Thomas Platz when he crashed her birthday party. However, his immaturity and reluctance to
even consider a family slowly taxes her patience. The sad sack is totally blind-sided when she summarily
dumps him, rather inconveniently on her same birth date. He does not deal with her rejection in a
productive manner. Yet, when he finds
himself caring for a hospitalized neighbor’s infant, Platz recognizes an
opportunity. Since the break-up, Deville
quit her nursing job, opening an upscale infant education and recreational
center. Guess who shows up as a
Strategy revisits well worn
territory, Michel’s execution is mostly harmless. As Platz and Deville, Raphaël Personnaz and
Charlotte Le Bon develop some pleasant chemistry. The latter has a genuinely luminous screen
presence, making it rather challenging to believe the two could ever be a
couple, even with their nice bantering rhythms.
every joke you expect eventually turns up in Strategy, mostly garnering eye-rolls. As a notable exception, Julie Ferrier is
wickedly funny as Platz’s cougarish classmate, Valérie. Conversely, the gags involving
Platz’s friend and stroller strategy advocate, Paul Bordinot, border on the
creepy, while Jérôme Commandeur’s shticky performance does little to
There are few surprises in Strategy, which will be reassuring for some viewers. Admirably, it suggests fatherhood,
commitment, honesty, and steady employment are all very good things. Still, it is funniest when Ferrier is
on-screen, but alas, her supporting role is relatively small. At best a middling trifle viewers will be
hard pressed to remember a week later, The
Stroller Strategy opens this Friday (6/14) in New York at the Angelika Film
Labels: French Cinema