Review / ‘Mr Stein Goes Online’ (M) ***

THE English-speaking title of writer/director Stephane Robelin’s romantic fable doesn’t exactly reflect its French original – “Un Profil Pour Deux”. A more apt English name might draw inspiration from the aphorism about the tangled webs we weave when first we practise to deceive.

Seventy-five-year-old Pierre Stein hasn’t moved outside his Paris apartment since his wife died two years ago. His daughter and granddaughter, who do his shopping, arrange for him to take lessons in iPad 101 from geek Alex (Yaniss Lespert). Needing the money, Alex against his will and better judgement takes the gig.

You can get just about anything you need on the World Wide Web. A dating site photo of Flora (Fanny Valette) smites Pierre’s attention where he’s going to feel it most. But how can a geriatric hermit capture the heart of an attractive woman half his age? Would Alex drive to Brussels to make contact with Flora in his stead? Which Alex reluctantly does, resulting in easily-predicted consequences.

Sorting out the confusion occupies most of the film’s 101 minutes. The only surprise is the resolution that comes to rescue Pierre, a charming old fellow about whom we feel concerned when the truth about Alex and Flora emerges. Nonetheless, it’s a warm-hearted little combination of laughter with light-hearted tensions. And Pierre Richard plays Mr Stein with great charm.

At Dendy

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