Living as a writer in Paris, Xavier Rousseau (Romain Duris) struggles to find personal and artistic contentment as he bounces between jobs and women. Unable to get his novel published and suffering from writer’s block, he takes on assignments ghostwriting autobiographies and scripting shlocky made-for-TV romance movies. And though he dallies with a bevy of beautiful babes — his ex-girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou), a Senegalese clothing store clerk (Aïssa Maïga), a supermodel (Lucy Gordon) and his old Barcelona flatmate, Wendy (Kelly Reilly) — he fears he’ll never experience true love. Unfortunately, director Klapisch spends two hours tossing out as many stylistic tricks, comic interludes and whimsical fantasies as he can come up with. Most of it barely rises to the level of a Friends episode, but occasionally the director creates sublime moments of humor and poetry
For a rude, crude anti-authoritarian comedy, it’s surprisingly smart, and there are a handful of zingers that are destined to be quoted by undergrads for years to come. Better yet, Long and several of his co-stars — including Maria Thayer, Jonah Hill and Lewis Black — have the sort of fine-tuned comic timing that makes the lines sing. The movie takes the Revenge of the Nerds and Old School template and applies it to the understandable stress of teens trying to secure a spot in the college of their dreams. Bartleby (Justin Long) and his pals are all underachievers who want nothing more than to spend their next four years doing keg stands and trying to get laid; unfortunately, even their backup schools have raised standards beyond their meager GPAs. Skilled in the art of fake-ID design, Bartleby forges an acceptance letter and — voila — He’s found a way to please his parents and tap into their college fund for him. Comic antics ensue as he struggles to maintain the ruse.
Oxford Inn owner Bob Higgins has opened the Metro Lounge, a completely separate small-plates operation within the venerable Oxford Inn. Experienced chef Mark Platz presides over that part of the Inn’s kitchen devoted exclusively to the Lounge. It's a dark, spacious barroom with a fireplace, European posters and art deco light fixtures on the walls, and a cozy outdoor terrace, offering more than 20 small plates along with (from the Oxford Inn’s menu) four salads and a soup of the day and, especially, 30 ultra-trendy mixed drinks. While diners next door are ordering Manhattans and martinis, those in the Lounge are selecting such “chocolicious” drinks ($8-$10 for a 10 oz. glass) as a martini composed of raspberry vodka, white chocolate, Godiva liqueur and raspberry Chambord.