|Review by Elizabeth Robbins|
Girl on a Bicycle is the story of love and happenstance in Paris from writer/director Jeremy Leven.
Leven is the screenwriter of such chick-flick staples as The Notebook and My Sister’s Keeper, and as such, is used to trying to pull on our heart strings.
In Girl on a Bicycle, Leven brings together a multinational cast. Paulo (Vincenzo Amato, Golden Door) is an Italian emmigrant working as a tour bus driver in Paris. He has just proposed to his gorgeous, flight attendant, German girlfriend, Greta (Nora Tschirner, Bon Appétit).
While Greta is away, Paulo meets Cécile (Louise Monot, A Love to Hide), who rides her bicycle on his route.
Paulo becomes enchanted by Cécile, and on the advise of his friend and co-worker, Derek (Paddy Considine, Bourne Ultimatum and a SimonPegg/Nick Frost regular) that he should get over the girl on a bicycle by meeting her, since a real woman can never live up to a fantasy woman.
Feeling responsible, Paulo proceeds to take care of Cecilé and her children, while trying to hide the truth from his fiancé, Greta.
It is. The premise is ridiculous. However, it’s not the story that carries the film. It is the actors.
The actors do a great job of taking a script that needed another re-write and pull off both some funny scenes and touching moments. How Paulo becomes the “father” to Cecilé’s children is forced and awkward, but the relationship between him and the children is sweet and touching. Greta is not your standard, girlfriend-who-doesn’t-understand-and-that’s-why-the-hero-wandered woman. Nora Tschirner plays Greta smart and sexy, and I loved every zinger she delivered.
Let’s face it, romantic comedies are a tough genre. It’s hard not to step over the line and go from sweet to saccharin. But, if you are looking for that date movie, Girl on a Bicycle will fill the niche.