Starring: Mickaël Lumière, Manon Azem, Fadily Camara
Director: Charles Van Tieghem
Running Time: 88 mins
Friendzone is a French film about a young man who meets the woman of his dreams, and despite them hitting it off as friends at first, he tries to everything he can to get out of the friendzone and become her boyfriend.
The clue is in the name: romantic comedies are meant to be romantic and funny. And Friendzone is neither. While it’s a fairly light-hearted romp with traces of Cyrano de Bergerac sprinkled throughout, this is a fantastically boring entry into a genre that’s surely impossible to get wrong. There are next to no laughs to speak of, and its core love story is far more irritating than in any way romantic.
But let’s start on the bright side, with the few positives to be found in Friendzone. For one, with a decent production behind it, this is a fairly good-looking movie, featuring some lovely vistas and locations on the Riviera that will at least catch your eye when the story isn’t going anywhere.
What’s more, while there aren’t many laughs to write home about – or at least none that I remember – Friendzone does start off with a fairly enjoyable moment of awkward comedy, and has a few other standout scenes of cringe humour. They’re never funny enough to make you giggle, but they do at least punctuate what feels like a real slog to get through.
As for the love story at the heart of the movie, I’ve never found myself quite so disinterested and irritated by a romance on film. Mickaël Lumière is already a fairly uninteresting lead who’s difficult to love on his own, and so when he finds himself in a friendship with a woman who you’d never expect him to be hankering after, it’s not easy to really will him on in getting out of the friendzone.
His female friends who try to brutally coach him into achieving his dreams lighten the mood somewhat, but for the most part, I found myself actively rooting against the film’s lead, wanting him not to get out of the friendzone and get the girl. Maybe I’m just bitter, but Friendzone’s overall lack of likability left me frustrated right the way through, and so that’s why I’m giving the film a 5.3 overall.