Already with the previous film, the excellent romantic comedy drama “The Things We Say, the Things We Do”, Emmanuel Mouret showed that he is a pretender to the status of the French counterpart of Woody Allen or even better the successor of his new wave compatriot Eric Rohmer, and he confirmed this status with the next film . In terms of genre, “Diary of Fleeting Affair” or “Chronique d’une liaison passagere” could also be described as a romantic comedy drama, completely following the style and spirit of the films Rohmer and Allen used to make. One could say that this film is Mouret’s “Annie Hall” because here we are also following the story of a love affair, or rather an affair. The spirit of the legendary French filmmaker Eric Rohmer, who also made similar films about love, morality and infidelity, is felt here, and “Diary of Fleeting Affair” is structured like a diary, just like Rohmer’s “Clara’s Knee”.
We follow the encounters between the married gynecologist Simon (Vincent Macaigne) and the divorced Charlotte (Sandrine Kiberlain) through twenty chapters in about six months. We start right there in the head, from the first meeting in the bar when Simon gathered the courage to finally embark on an extramarital adventure, to meet the self-confident and self-aware divorcee and a few years older Charlotte, to the next meetings that will soon become more frequent. And Simon, again in an excellent performance by Macaigne as a typical Woodyallen sleuth, an insecure and chatty guy who has never been unfaithful to his wife before, will learn little by little to the fact that he now has a lover. He will be less and less haunted by a guilty conscience, he will become more and more free with the charming Charlotte, who seems like a woman who has answers and solutions for all questions and problems.
The intellectual style of humor also reminds “Diary” of the films of Allen and Rohmer, and just like in the previous film, this seemingly simple story in which we only follow their meetings, works very well. It is a film that stands out for its subtle humor, situations that seem very real, and in the moments when Simon is still getting used to the fact that he has a lover, but also in the moments when he realizes that he might want something more, but he is too insecure and afraid to tried to realize that. This cute and cleverly designed romantic comedy had its premiere in Cannes, and Macaigne was nominated for French actor of the year, just like for his role in Mouret’s previous film.