Set in the glorious Cote dAzur Audrey Tautou plays Irene, a sassy gold digger with her eye firmly trained on pursuing the richest of Europes high society. Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a shy waiter, accustomed to pampering the obscenely rich in the grand hotel he works in, finds himself swept up in the beauty and charisma of Irene, until she runs out at the same time as his pocket book.
With no money and no resources except themselves, the pair embark on a charm offensive, determined to make a comfortable life for themselves by living off the generous hand outs of the elite. Its a life of endless champagne, sunshine and swimming pools, as long as you find someone to pick up the bill.
Tautou gives a sublime performance, capturing Irenes cunning vulnerability with an ease that makes her effortlessly watchable, while Elmaleh complements her radiating charm with his skilful manipulation of a role that could easily come off as damp into a focused and sensitive lead.
There is a glamour about this film that leaps off the screen, and yet it is far from intimidating or exclusive. The lifestyles of the rich are pleasingly neither congratulated nor condemned by Salvadori and there is a lasting sense of the feel good factor that is not won out at the expense of any caricatures or quick tear-jerker moments. There is a strong resistance to the slovenliness of romantic comedy clichs and it pays off. The plot is unpredictable, the moments of joy are not overly dwelt upon, and neither hero is someone that we would want to take home to meet the parents.
Overall it makes this film joyous in an unconventional and mischievous way, and to top it off, the Sex and the City girls could take style tips from Tautou in this film as she steps straight out of the pages of Marie Claire, managing to pick up a wonderfully three dimensional personality along the way. This film has got all the fashionable sophistication that we would expect from a French film, but it has a lot more beside, making it a great feel good summer movie that is sure to put a smile on your face, a spring in your walk, and the desire for a pair of Jimmy Choos in your head.
Irene and Jean, our two romantic heroes, are two original film lovers like no other. Priceless is as enchanting as a film can get. Borrowing elegance and chic from its French origins, this is the first film to offer Audrey Tautou the role she deserves since Amelie. Its funny, loveable, cheeky and unpredictable. This is a darling of a French film that is as confused as it is intelligent.