Set in a middle-class Parisian milieu, newcomer Marilou Berry (daughter of actors Josiane Balasko and Richard Berry) plays a plump girl, Lolita, who appears to be angry not only with herself but also the rest of the universe. She thinks she's too fat, too plain, and simply won't pass muster on any of the counts that matter. Worse, her father (Jean-Pierre Bacri) is a self-obsessed writer and publisher who barely acknowledges her existence. The poor girl seems to think that anyone would only want to get to know her because of her dad's cachet of celebrity and power. In addition, she has to cope with a wafer-thin stepmother who's only slightly older than she is. She hooks up with her voice coach (the redoubtable Jaoui) who helps to instill at least a little self-confidence and enables her to pursue her goal of recognition. That comes in a musical finale when Lolita takes part in a singing ensemble, and her voice soars to the heights.
"Look at Me," succinctly paced and written with economy of style, will strike chords of human recognition amongst us all. Jaoui coaxes beautifully judged performances from the likes of Berry, Bacri and the rest of the cast, never putting an emotion out of place. With its Allenesque ironies, "Look at Me" is a film that should have a bon voyage way outside of its native shores. Starring Marilou Berry, Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri. Directed and written by Agnes Jaoui. Produced by Jean-Philippe Andraca and Christian Berard. An SPC release. Comedy. French-language; subtitled. Rated PG-13 for brief language and a sexual reference. Running time: 110 min