Home movies of real-life couple Charlotte Gainsbourg and Yvan Attal are probably a lot more interesting and compelling than their vanity project, "My Wife Is an Actress." Which is really disappointing, because both performers have been engaging in other people's movies (Gainsbourg in 1989's "The Little Thief" and Attal in 1996's "Love, etc.").
But this French comedy has the duo straining for laughs. Worse at least for a married couple who are supposedly inseparable in real life Attal and Gainsbourg don't have a lot of chemistry here.
The material is only slightly autobiographical, with Attal as Yvan, a thirtysomething sports reporter who is married to Charlotte, one of the country's biggest stars. Yvan is clearly jealous of Charlotte. He's horrified and irked that people are constantly bugging her for autographs (though her celebrity status also gets him out of at least one potentially problematic situation).
And he's not just jealous of that but also of her latest co-star, aging but suave British actor John (Terence Stamp), who is constantly sketching pictures of her, and who to Yvan's way of thinking, anyway seems to have designs on seducing her.
Not only is this material slight, it also seems ridiculously padded (witness a go-nowhere subplot about the painful religious squabbles between Yvan's sister and brother-in-law).
It doesn't help that Attal has written his character as such an unsympathetic jerk. Frankly, it's hard to see what Gainsbourg's bright and bubbly Charlotte would even see in someone like him.
Attal's irksome performance isn't the only one in the film, either. The usually dependable Stamp seems to be simply going through the motions here (his character isn't just aloof, he's dull).
"My Wife Is an Actress" is rated R for occasional use of strong sex-related profanity and crude sexual talk, glimpses of full male and female nudity, simulated sex and sex acts, use of ethnic slurs and brief violence (a scuffle). Running time: 93 minutes.