Saturday, June 27, 2015

#1,776. I'll Wait for the Next One... (2002)

Directed By: Philippe Orreindy

Starring: Sophie Forte, Thomas Gaudin, Pascal Casanova

Line from this film: "I read in a magazine there are 5 million single women in France. Where are they?"

Trivia: Won the award for Best Short at the 2004 European Film Awards

Finding love is no easy task, and, as we see in Philippe Orreindy’s 2002 Academy-Award nominated short I’ll Wait for the Next One…. (J'attendrai le suivant... in its native France), you can’t even trust it when it falls into your lap!

A lonely woman (Sophie Forte) boards the Paris Metro. Shortly after the train is under way, a man named Antoine (Thomas Gaudin) addresses the passengers. For three years, he says, he’s been looking for someone to share his life with, a girl who is as open to romance as he is. Antoine tells the crowd a few things about himself (including his age, profession, and how much money he makes in a month), and, after a brief back-and-forth with a married guy (Pascal Casanova), says any woman interested in taking a chance on him should hop off the train at the next station. The woman is intrigued, and a few moments after Antoine finishes his speech, the train comes to a stop, and the doors open…

A drama in the guise of a romance, I’ll Wait for the Next One… features hope and heartbreak in equal doses, all conveyed in less than 5 minutes, and by characters as well-rounded as any you’d find in a full-length film. Though she never speaks a word, we sense almost immediately that the woman is both alone and looking for love (while riding the escalator down to the platform, a young couple making out with one another passes her on their way up, at which point we spot the longing in the woman's eyes, and just a hint of sadness as well). As for Antoine, he appears to be in the same boat, and has decided to do something about it. His speech, though awkward, strikes a chord with the woman, who smiles the entire time he’s delivering it. There’s a brief bit of comedy that comes courtesy of the married guy, who offers to give Antoine his wife’s phone number in the hopes he’ll take her off his hands, but the laughter quickly fades once the woman makes her choice.

With I’ll Wait for the Next One…, director Orriendy has pulled off a minor miracle, squeezing drama, laughs, and pathos into an abbreviated run time, all to tell a story that has the power to break your heart.

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