While it’s a rare New Year’s Eve-themed film, Stuck with You is, unfortunately, rather stale and uninspired.
We review the Netflix film Stuck with You, which does not contain spoilers.
The trope of strangers getting stuck in an elevator and having revelations about their lives or forming a strong bond is one that’s been a bit overdone. It’s not that it can’t still be done well (though will anything top the scene with Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail?), but it requires compelling actors and a unique take. Unfortunately, the French film Stuck with You doesn’t quite hit the mark and never captures the magic that such a premise depends upon.
Stuck with You review and plot summary
While there are tons of Christmas films, there are fewer New Year’s Eve films, but director Frank Bellocq‘s Stuck with You attempts to fill that gap. On the last night of the year, strangers Gael (Kev Adams) and Hannah (Camille Lellouche) are on their way to celebrations in the same building. But the elevator that they are in together gets stuck and won’t let them out. They contact emergency services, which warn them that they’re very busy with other calls and it might be a while before they’re rescued.
After Gael calms Hannah down from her claustrophobia attack, the two surly people begin to open up to each other. They share the issues in their current relationships and those that came from their childhood. Writers Jean-Luc Cano and Frank Bellocq figure out interesting ways to get the action outside of the elevator (because watching two people trapped in a tiny space for almost an hour would not be very engaging). As they describe memories to each other, the elevator doors open, allowing them to step into those memories and observe.
As Stuck with You unfolds, Gael shares how his childhood made him insecure, and now he is trapped in a relationship with a woman who is frustrated by his lack of growth in his career as a writer and comedian as she progresses. Meanwhile, Hannah struggles to trust people and is still scarred by events in her childhood.
The film is decently well-made from a crafts perspective, but unfortunately, neither actor has the comedic ability or charisma to maintain interest in what is largely a two-hander. (It’s all too easy to see why Gael hasn’t been succeeding as a stand-up comedian.) They are lacking in chemistry as a pair, lacking any romantic tension between them that isn’t supplied directly in the script.
Is Stuck with You good?
While there are some interesting ideas in Stuck with You and Bellocq’s attempts to explore the “stuck in an elevator” trope creatively, ultimately, the film flounders. The main pair can’t sustain interest even for its hour-long runtime, and the romance between them feels contrived and stale.
If you’re looking to watch something in French to see if you maintained anything from your high school classes or if you’re desperate for something New Year’s Eve-themed, it might be worth a watch. (Though I would recommend a Céline Sciamma film and When Harry Met Sally instead, respectively.) Otherwise, you can feel safe skipping this one if it pops up in your Netflix recommendations.
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