The film has a subdued tone but holds our attention with its articulate dialogue and acute direction. It's only near the end we realise that in fact [director] Berri has fashioned a multi faceted love story out of the book's core, serving his audience with a palatable mixture of drama, comedy and romance.
Berri, whose career is studded with movie diamonds such as Jean de Florette, Lucie Aubrac and Femme de Menage (The Housekeeper), teases out the relationships between the characters to overcome the difficulties of adapting the novel. And this is the film's great strength: he tells their stories, and we feel their ups and downs, growing to understand them all, at least as much as it's possible to understand the bizarre and unique nature of our fellow human beings. In that respect, the film is highly satisfying.Full review