In Bon Voyage we see a return of that most ropey of plot conventions. The plain girl who does not believe the hero could ever fancy her actually more attractive than the girl everyone says is pretty. I thought the Truth About Cats And Dogs had killed this meme stone dead. I was wrong. Bon Voyage even used glasses and tightly pulled back hair as a signifier of how plain she is. Compare yourself with these stills: the “plain but actually prettier” one is Virginie Ledoyen and the “attractive but less nice” one is Isabelle Adjani, presented against raffish male lead Gregori Derangere for comparison purposes.

Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s film is an homage to the days of wartime derring-do pictures. We have nazi spies chasing scientists, special chemical compounds ( Heavy Water!!! ) our wrongfully arrested hero has to avoid both the bad guys and the police to save the day. And it is plenty of fun. It just seems a bit wrong for the French to be having this kind of fun just before their country capitulates to the Nazi’s. The film is also a reminder of what great villians the Nazi’s are. You almost get the feeling that if they had not existed, the movies would have had to invent them (a la the “too mad for the IRA” terrorists). Morality be damned when the Nazi’s are your baddies. They are evil through and through, speak funny and require absolutely no empathy from the viewer. Perhaps because the film is such an homage that it uses the cliche of the women, but it does not stop said cliche being annoying. The closest the French have got to a dumb summer movie in years.