Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Women on the 6th Floor

Set in a prosperous pre-TV and post-WW II Paris, where domestic servants are still the norm The Women on the 6th Floor is a gentle comedy. Jean-Luis loves the simple life. Running the investment business inherited from his father (long term investments only, no short term speculation), a hands-off appreciation of the female body, married to an ex-country girl, sons at boarding school and most importantly an egg boiled for exactly 3½ minutes for breakfast every day.

An argument with the maid over his breakfast egg causes her to resign and be replaced by Maria (Natalia Verbeke), a pretty Spanish maid. Through her he is gradually drawn into the lives of the maids living on the 6th floor of his apartment block. Lives he finds much more interesting than those of his wife, friends and work collegues. His ability to solve their issues due to his position in society plus the fact that he takes them seriously and treats them as equals endears them to him.

Neither Maria nor the quiet Jean-Luis hog the limelight, leaving plenty of space for the supporting cast to sparkle. In particular the obnoxious and stuck-up sons who have to make sense of the changing domestic situation when they return home each holidays.

Unltimately this is fairy tale comedy set in a Paris that probably never was and where the bad things come with generous silver linings.

Also known as Service Entrance.

Ian's rating 4/5

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