Why has it taken me so very long to finally see this film? This enchanting, mesmerizing, romantic, heartwarming film. I recall the rave reviews upon its release in America, I recall the vivid sets, the colors, the vivacity of the previews. Yet I failed to see it until now. And the entire time I was watching it, I could hear Steve Schenck’s voice in my head: “Every time you think she’s done the most adorable thing she can, she does something else even cuter.” He’s right! This film, and its main character, are charming beyond words.
That’s what I’ll take away with me. The charm, the heart. There is great joy, even in the inherent sadness of Amélie’s life, and it’s a none-too-subtle reminder that life is here to be lived. We are here to love each other, to make each other happy, to make each day worth the hours put into it. Amélie is an exquisite film. Not without faults, mind you, but so breathtaking in its execution that you overlook the flaws and simply laugh with the story. Laugh with Amélie. And then you fall for her neighbors, one by one. You fall for a traveling gnome! And you root for love, and you find yourself charmed beyond compare with her own object of affection, Nino, played beautifully by Mathieu Kassovitz. By the end, my heart was bursting with a full spectrum of emotion, and still I could not help but smile.