Animation maker

‘The Rose Maker’ is an audience-pleasing French comedy-drama.

(2.5 stars)

“The Rose Maker,” a seductive and undemanding comedy-drama by Pierre Pinaud, opens with an extravagantly staged sequence in the rose garden of Parc de Bagatelle in Paris, a legendary pilgrimage destination for Rosarians around the world. and the people who love them.

This setting proves to be an apt setting for a film that feels like a cinematic trifle: viewers looking for novelty, thematic weight and edgy twists are advised to ignore this wispy audience enjoyment, which tends toward credulity too. energetically than for the sentimental jugular. But you know what? It’s spring, we’re exhausted, and the gentle humanism at the heart of “The Rose Maker’s” most shameless manipulations might just be what more than a few cynical-soaked audiences need.

The Bagatelle scene stars Eve Vernet (Catherine Frot), who, with her faithful assistant Véra (Olivia Côte), presents her latest hybrid at the Park’s annual rose competition. Eve inherited his sprawling rose farm from her father and continues to follow his meticulous artisan breeding procedures, carefully crossing her plants, saving the seeds and raising the new blooms in hopes they will become best-sellers. . Eve is aggressively wooed by a brash young businessman (Vincent Dedienne) who wants to absorb her operation into his own global conglomerate, but she’s determined to stay independent, while the bills pile up and her beloved creations fail. fail to ignite the market.

Recognizing Eve’s need for cheap labor, Véra enlists the services of three ex-convicts: the gentle Samir (Fatsah Bouyahmed), the shy Nadège (Marie Petiot) and the surly Fred (rapper Melan Omerta ). Once these three former miscreants are on the scene, plot points unfold with metronomic predictability, inevitable personality clashes, life lessons, revelations, and seemingly catastrophic setbacks to Eve’s wacky plan. to save his life’s work.

Although “The Rose Maker” is ostensibly about how Eve and her ragtag group of misfits come together, Pinaud focuses on her relationship with Fred, at the expense of Samir and Nadège, who quickly retreat to the background, appearing for ostensible comic relief from time to time. The narrative tension is almost non-existent in a story animated by issues that could not be less, nor more stereotyped; the plot unfolds smoothly, much like Vera’s battered VW that runs at the right time no matter what mishaps befall it.

‘The Rose Maker’, which was filmed in the scenic hills of Roanne in France, is undeniably pretty to look at: set designer Philippe Numérique names Eve’s secluded farmhouse in romantic stripes of rich fabrics and floral-themed objects , and the flowers themselves are given pride of place in close-up worship. From afar the rows and rows of profuse blooms are so vividly colored that they appear color-corrected within an inch of their life; strabismus and “The Rose Maker” becomes a field of poppies worthy of Monet in Argenteuil.

“The Rose Maker” is so smooth and decidedly laid-back that its most authentic moments come as a shock: Frot and Omerta managed to develop real chemistry amid the shots, and the film’s climactic scenes are heartbreaks that actually feel earned rather than designed. . Top it all off with Pinaud’s final dedication, and “The Rose Maker” turns into a film that carries its emotions lightly but generously, like dew on a blush-colored petal.

Not rated. At the Avalon Theater and the Theater of Motion Arts. Contains profanity and smoking. In French with subtitles. 94 minutes.