A Sophisticated Date Night at the Movies ["Shall We Kiss?"]
Some films are ripe for split opinions where some people will like exactly what other people won't like, and vice versa. I think both camps would agree that “Shall We Kiss?” is meant for people looking for a sophisticated date night at the movies.
A man meets a woman. Nothing physical between these two can happen until the woman tells the man about a relationship between another man and woman.
This film is very French, although as you read the subtitles, its modestly appealing players don't feel foreign. It contains the coupling dynamics that one would find in a good Woody Allen film, minus the extremes of nerdiness and angst that exaggerate emotional and intellectual tumult. It shares play-by-play verbalizations that carry the static electricity of romance. It indulges in humor so dry that if it were a martini, you'd have to drink the gin while holding an unopened bottle of vermouth in your hand.
Nothing physical can happen in the main story because each is involved with someone else. In the story within the story, the man and woman are also hooked up with partners such that they cannot follow through on their attractions, and of course, they do.
Rarely has passion that is so fundamentally polite and considerate been put to film. Some people will find this a charming change of pace. Others will find it an irksome one. Either way, “Shall We Kiss?” flows toward the answer to its title question.
Cheating has never felt so lightweight as it does in this film. Whether you go to the movies to experience cheating vicariously or to understand a little better how it happens with decent ordinary people, there is no risk that you will experience anything too deep or heavy. You may feel cheated by this or you may feel that's exactly how much you want to get involved on a sophisticated date night at the movies.