You & Me, the cheerfully self-assured second feature from French director Julie Lopes-Curval, is the story of two sisters, both of them looking for love. Ariane (Julie Depardieu - yes, she’s Gerard’s kid), the oldest, is a hopeless romantic willfully entangled with a man whose lack of long-term interest in her couldn’t be more clear. Her sister Lena (well-played by the soulful Marion Cotillard) is a respected cellist who lives with her bland, good-hearted boyfriend, and approaches life with a deep seriousness. Ariane uses their collective romantic struggles as inspiration for the candy-colored, comically romantic photo-novellas she writes and, as Lopes-Curval’s film progresses, Ariane’s work and real life overlap with increasing regularity.
On tour with her orchestra when the movie opens, Lena immediately seems unhappy, and disconnected from her own life. She does her job and returns to her hotel room to sleep, perhaps practice, and wait until the next day’s performance. She is jarred out of her routine, however, by the presence of Mark (played with Colin Firth-esque, scruffy charm by Jonathan Zaccaï), a cocky soloist whose confidence and attention Lena find irresistible. When he takes her to see a risque photography exhibit and talks about sexual positions during what is virtually their first meaningful interaction, she is inexplicable charmed, and they share an impulsive kiss when she drops him at the airport.