Perfect light fare for the season, the French romantic comedy My Donkey, My Lover, & I follows delightfully zany schoolteacher Antoinette (Laure Calamy of Call My Agent, who won the Best Actress César Award for this charming, funny performance). Antoinette’s vacation plans with her married lover, Vladimir (Benjamin Lavernhe), are ruined when his wife (Olivia Côte) books a surprise hiking trip. On an impulse, Antonette heads to the same mountainous region of the Cévennes National Park where Vladimir and his family are headed, with a hiking itinerary inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic 1878 memoir Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. Completely unversed in the ways of the wilderness, Antoinette forges quick bonds with her rental donkey, Patrick, and several offbeat fellow travelers, as she poignantly and uproariously stumbles towards self-revelation and independence. Take a vicarious summer vacation to the south of French at the Royal and Town Center starting July 22 and the Claremont and Newhall starting July 29.
“In a Paris primary school, a class of eight-year-olds sit behind their desks, eyes squeezed shut, counting to 20. At the back of the room their teacher, Antoinette (Laure Calamy), is getting undressed, slipping into silk frock for the school concert. “It’s not too much?” she asks the pupils. She’s having an affair with one of the dads – he’s married. Thus, with unparalleled Frenchness, begins this easygoing, warm comedy following Antoinette as she accidentally-on-purpose goes on the same donkey-trekking holiday as her lover’s family. As Antoinette bonds with her donkey, the movie evolves from gentle farce to journey of emotional growth. You might call it Eat Bray, Love – except it’s European, so there’s less pseudo-spiritual self-discovery and more drunken snogging…Calamy really grounds the movie with her funny, generous performance.” ~ Leslie Felperin, Guardian
“Calamy’s performance has rightly been awarded for its superb shading, but let’s not forget the donkey, brilliant as her straight man. Who says nobody likes a smart ass?” ~ Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald