"5 to 7" is an adorable, funny and touching romantic comedy, but requires an open mind in order to enjoy it.10/10
Leave it to the French. As if romance in modern America weren't already challenging enough, along come a French couple living in the U.S., complicating things further. Apparently, in France, if you're going to have an affair, 5 to 7 p.m. is the accepted time. It's the time of day when your whereabouts are naturally somewhat ambiguous, which makes it easier to discretely engage in this kind of
activity. And, if you have an understanding spouse, such a thing is perfectly acceptable! In fact, if the rules are followed and everyone involved is agreeable, all of you can even be friends! Anyway, that's the basic set-up for the romantic comedy "5 to 7" (R, 1:35). Now, I don't usually do this, but I feel the need, for the sake of my personal safety, to begin this review with a disclaimer: Although I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, no one with whom I have been, am or might one day be in a relationship should read into this review any approval on my part of any of the attitudes or activities depicted in this movie or any desire on my part to engage in such activities. Whew. Okay. I think I'm covered. On with the review
Anton Yelchin (best known as Chekov in the recent "Star Trek" films) plays Brian Bloom, an aspiring writer in his mid-20s. He meets a sophisticated French woman named Arielle (Berenice Marlohe, the "Bond girl" in "Skyfall") on the streets of New York City. She's outside smoking, he's a smoker too, he speaks a little French, yada yada yada, another Big Apple romance is born. The problem is that she's married. Or IS that a problem? She mentions her marital status very (note to self, insert appropriate French word here)
nonchalantly. Brian is confused. Arielle explains that the French have a different attitude towards these issues. She and her diplomat husband, Valery (Lambert Wilson, a veteran of both French and American films), are each free to take a lover, as long as they are discreet and only "get together" between the film's titular hours. Brian moves from confused to freaked out, but he goes for it. After all, Arielle is beautiful, sexy, cultured and has a magnetic personality
all of which I'm noting purely objectively, of course. (I am in SO much trouble right now.) Things go swimmingly for Brian and Arielle. Arielle is so happy, that her husband notices, tracks down Brian and
invites him to dinner. Brian is still very uneasy about this whole arrangement, but he accepts Valery's invitation. At said dinner, Brian meets a New York conductor, a restaurateur and, in a random but cool cameo, civil rights pioneer Julian Bond. Brian also meets Valery and Arielle's perfect children and Valery's mistress, Jane (Olivia Thirlby, who appeared in another unconventional romantic comedy called "No Strings Attached" in 2011), and Jane just happens to be an editor at a NYC publishing house. Soon, Brian's parents (Glenn Close and Frank Langella) pop up, meet everyone and comment on the goings-on. The crazy thing is everyone gets along with everyone
until at least one member of this group inevitably ends up wanting more than just a 5 to 7 romance.
"5 to 7" is completely adorable! Every single one of the characters (and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE) comes across as so genuine, kind, interesting and fun that I would want to hang out with any of them, but preferably all of them (nothing kinky, of course). And they're not only fun, but also very funny! This is a smile-from-ear-to-ear romantic comedy that also has more than its share of laugh-out-loud moments. But as adorable and humorous as it is, this film is also touching, romantic and even thought-provoking. Embedded in the dialog and the plot is a subtle, but powerful message for tolerance and against judging the culture of another based on the standards of your own. However, I should point out that, even though I love this movie, I also loved "The Godfather" but still haven't joined the mafia. Just sayin'. Seriously though, "5 to 7" is a wonderful film and can be enjoyed by anyone open-minded enough to watch it without judgment. "A+"