The Film: L’arnacoeur [Heartbreaker]
This movie is the ultimate example of why there should be no remakes of foreign films. It’s freaking perfect. It’s literally laugh-out-loud funny, romantic, and overflowing with charm and wit.
Romain Duris gets everything right and Vanessa Paradis is a breath of fresh air. It’s sort of an Ocean’s Eleven heist film, with the score being the affection of a woman. Heartbreaker feels like a modern remake, but in that satisfying, warm way — you already know you’re going to love it before the opening credits end. Even though it is a thoroughly modern tale, it has a classic style, rare for modern films which generally disregard any class and go straight for crass jokes and stereotypes. Nothing of that base nature exists in this film and watching it, you remember how few films there are with the same caliber and quality and wonder if you’ll ever see one again. But that doesn’t last long, you’re too busy laughing. Seriously, gut-bustingly laughing.
Heartbreaker is worthy of many repeat watches. I hope they never remake it. I’m sure they already are. There are so many scenes that just aren’t replicable. The setting is amazing. The directing is impeccable comic genius. It just doesn’t get better for a romantic comedy. This film gives the genre a good name and if there were a scene that proved it, I would pick the one where the two main characters are in the car and Wham! comes on the radio. The exchange is priceless.
The Food: Bread
There are two things vital to French cuisine — cheese and bread. And since I’m not up to cheese-making level yet, I’m afraid I’ll have to stick to bread. But you won’t hear me complain.
I’ve been making bread in my bread machine for a little under a year now. I can tell you there is no other appliance I’ve owned that has been as worth it’s weight in gold.I am no longer beholden to the sale cycle of whole wheat bread. I am no longer tempted by cinnamon raisin bread packed with preservatives hidden under a sickeningly sweet frosting. No. This is real bread and real ingredients.
There’s no end to the variety and, so far, I’ve found it’s very hard to mess up. These are two of my prerequisites for any new venture. The first one will keep me interested, the second will keep me from wasting ingredients. I’ve made whole wheat, raisin, whole wheat raisin, wine and cheese, Irish soda bread with cranberries, orange cinnamon bread, English muffin loaf, shredded wheat bread, and bread sticks. The ultimate, however, is pizza dough.
There is nothing like snipping herbs from the deck garden and throwing them into pizza dough. Even dried herbs come to life. There is no way to over do the flavor. Garlic, cheese, bacon, corn meal. The crust is no longer something to just hold the mozzarella and tomato paste. And the toppings? Fresh garden tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, vegetables galore any sort of cheese — ricotta is a favorite. I use it instead of tomato paste. Pesto is another great alternative. Pizza night might take a little longer now, but real food also means real taste and no regrets.
I was given two bread machine cookbooks which I’ve been working out of so I’ll be taking more pictures and adding recipes in posts to come. I plan on making croissant bread for Christmas. Je ne peux pas attendre! The best, best thing about the bread machine is being able to put the ingredients in and walk away. I love being in the middle of four other tasks and thinking “All this, and I’m making bread.”