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My Piece of the Pie at Tower Theater through January 19

Karin Viard
© Emmanuel Jacobson-Roques

Chauvinistic, capitalist scum must suffer in My Piece of the Pie, a feeble stab at topicality from the master of overripe Gallic melodrama, Cédric Klapisch (L'Auberge Espagnole). The proletariat heroine charged with doling out working-class justice goes by the oh-so-subtle name of France (Karin Viard), a single mother who — when the plant that employs much of her Dunkirk hometown closes — becomes a maid in Paris for Steve (Gilles Lellouche), a stock-trading boor who cares for nothing except his own profit and pleasure. Steve's evil is cartoonish: He acts overtly offended when a model he has wined and dined refuses to repay his generosity with sex (a strategy that amazingly convinces her to sleep with him), and he flees parental responsibility by hiring France as a nanny when he's saddled for a month with his young son. Shooting with a blandness to match his story's middlebrow mushiness, Klapisch has France and Steve gradually grow closer, though intimations that Steve will sprout a heart are mere red herrings designed to mask the film's uncomplicated class-warfare viewpoint. Through it all, Klapisch feigns interest in credible characters and emotions while offering only schematic and clichéd scenarios, right down to a simpleminded power-to-the-people finale.

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