Apparently, in France, there is this tradition that you are allowed to have an affair between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The rules are straightforward: If your mistress wants to meet for a later dinner at 8 p.m.,well, too bad. That cannot happen. Both members of the married party are aware of what’s going on and they agree to let each other have alternate partners. That’s in France. 5 to 7 is based in New York.
Brian Bloom (Anton Yelchin) is a writer, and for most of the film, an unsuccessful one. Perhaps because he lacks pain and passion in his life. He leads a boring bachelor life where all he wants to do is read, write, and play games in his head all day. Of course magazines are shooting down his short story about two star crossed lovers who also happen to be dogs. To the character of Brian Bloom we want to say: relax, just … relax.
Brian meets Arielle (Berenice Marlohe), a French, married woman. The film’s title kinda let’s you in on what happens after that.
This is not a romantic comedy. This is a romantic drama. Until I can think of a better name for a film like this we will be calling it the dramaroma. The way the film was shot adds to the dramatic story line: There are a lot of moody shaded shots, and sometimes they go from third person film, to first, and then back.
At one point the whole French family gets together — Arielle, her husband Valery (Lambert Wilson), his mistress Jane (Olivia Thirlby), Brian, and Arielle and Valery’s two kids gather like it’s no big deal to see Mommy and Daddy with girlfriends and boyfriends. As it turns out, Jane happens to be an editor at a publishing house that keeps shooting down Brian’s work. This is a lovely and convenient plot twist.
Around and around Jane and Brian go, Jane is begging him to work for her and Brian is in his own head again worried about the relationship with Arielle. He agrees, the audience, his family, Jane, and Jane’s boss all do a little dance to say, “good job dude, finally making some good choices.”
Jane tells Brian that “if you want to write, you cannot have a mediocre life.” We’re not sure if she meant that he needed to have an affair to spice things up, but that situation clearly benefits his work life. He sells his story — the one that we all think is dumb, the one about the dogs. The one Arielle told him to never speak of again because it sounded horrible. Well, the New Yorker bought it for six grand.
The six grand burns a whole in Brian’s pocket and he thinks a good way to spend it is on an engagement ring for Arielle. Despite her being, ya know, already married. To see how things pan out, check out 5 to 7 at The Terrace Theater this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:35 p.m. and 8:55 p.m. Love Best of Charleston? Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.
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