Another Daneil Auteil film! I just can't resist anything with him in it. Having said that, while Romauld et Juliette is good, I didn't enjoy it as much as some of his others. It dates back over 20 years, to 1988, and is a comedy with a little bit of drama and intrigue thrown in for good measure.
Auteil plays Romauld, a high-flying executive of a yoghurt company who is ousted in a plot by his colleagues. The firm's cleaning lady, Juliette, warns him of the scheming against him, which she is aware of as the plotters don't think to censor themselves when she's in the offices. Having initially brushed off Juliette's concerns, Romauld ends up hiding out at her apartment while he tries to clear his name.
The film contrasts the lives of rich and poor, black and white, but I found it did so in a somewhat clunking, overbearing way. Juliette has five ex-husbands, and five children, one from each marriage. She takes them to school on the bus and promises her eldest 50 Francs for a night out. Romauld is married with two teenage children who are chauffeured to school, and he hands them 500 Francs of pocket money without even thinking about it. Subtlety is not Romauld et Juliette's strong point, however it was the 80s! And indeed it is probably fairly reflective of society back then (how much things have changed is another question...)
The most glowing user reviews on IMDb come from those who saw this film 20 years ago and are delighted to find it is available on DVD. I think this is the case with a lot of 80s films... it's the nostalgia, the reminders of watching them first time around. As someone who never saw Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Gremlins or many others in the 80s (long story!), I find they don't match up to the fevered enthusiasm lavished upon them by others my age who still love watching them now. But to my friends, these are more than just films, they're memories. Maybe that's partly why this film didn't resonate with me as much as I thought it would... or maybe my expectations were too high. Worth a look though!
You can buy Romauld et Juliette on DVD from Amazon in the UK... it doesn't appear to be available from the US site at the moment though. Hence my own amateur picture of the cover below!