Big doe-eyes and a whole lot of whimsy. That may be all it takes to get Americans to watch a French movie. Even today, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s romantic comedy Amelie stands as the highest-grossing French-language film at the domestic box office.
So what captured our hearts? This story of a girl who finds a box of childhood memorabilia and seeks out its now adult owner is full of all the quirkiness we came to expect from Jeunet. The film is, however, a departure from Jeunet’s darker, but still oh-so-good efforts, which helped enchant movielovers around the world. Amelie is also full of valuable and unforgettable life lessons, like “It's better to help people than garden gnomes.” You can't get that kind of insight from Chinese proverbs.