Pomme is fed up with love, life and everything in between. Her husband Pierre (Mathieu Amalric) pays her minimal attention, as they spend the vast majority of their time bickering about insignificant matters, seemingly unable to feel at peace in one another’s company. So one day, when the pair go for a hike, Pomme decides enough is enough, and to stay exactly where she is, for as long as it takes for her to find some clarity.
While offering a heightened, somewhat farcical take on reality, writer and director Sophie Filliéres ensures this comedy always maintains a sense of realism, playing on the trivial arguments anyone in a relationship can relate to, deriving from the bad habits and rituals couples can so often fall in to. It certainly helps matters that our entry point into this tale is such an endearingly clumsy protagonist, who is flawed and imperfect too, which makes her seem all the more real.
There’s a naivety to Pomme, an almost childlike quality that Devos has mastered, as the way she follows closely behind Pierre on their hike resembles that of a loyal dog. This only enhances the impact of her decision to go solo for a while, and get in touch with an independence that appears to have been slowly disintegrating across the years. It’s simply a stunning turn for the actress, and following on her performance in Violette, she’s showing such an aptitude at present as a high-standard leading lady, with an everyday quality about her (and great comic timing – particularly her physical comedy). It makes her so engaging to watch on screen, which is complimented effectively by a depth and sadness behind her eyes, adding to the more poignant elements of this narrative.
If You Don’t, I Will is a somewhat slight picture that doesn’t exactly set the world to rights, but it stays with you, memorable as a playful yet ultimately profound feature, that is uncomfortably relatable at times. This charming little number offers a candid, often hilarious study of long term relationships and what can only be described as a ‘mid-life crisis’ – minus the leather jackets and decision to purchase Status Quo’s greatest hits. Instead this is a less cliched, and more affecting display.