By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 25, 2007 at 5:23 AM

Maybe predictable is beside the point. After all, "Twice Upon a Time" ("Desaccord Parfait" in French) is hailed as a tribute to the classic Hollywood romance films of yore.

You know the ones they mean. Think Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant or Carole Lombard and John Barrymore. This 2006 French version written and directed by Antoine de Caunes -- however, stars Charlotte Rampling and Jean Rochefort as two former lovers reunited.

Rampling is Alice d'Abanville, a British actress who became famous in films, especially the films she made in the 1970s with French director Louis Ruinard -- played by Rochefort -- but now doing experimental theater and Shakespeare.

She is a beloved celebrity in London, where she lives with her rich husband, Lord Evelyn Gaylord (Ian Richardson) and their son Paul (James Thierree) on a large estate outside the city.

Ruinard is in London to accept a lifetime achievement award for his film work and d'Abanville is enlisted to present it, despite their less than amicable parting 30 years earlier.

As expected, she's doing it grudgingly and perhaps with a motive. Ruinard, on the other hand, has never understood by Alice left him suddenly and still carries a torch.

Alice seems happy as can be in her life on stage and at home with her loving husband and talented son, who is in finance by day and a painter by night. What she's apparently unhappy about is the fact that Louis has resurfaced in her life.

But like the boy who pulls the hair of his schoolyard crush, perhaps Alice's vitriol masks a lingering passion for Louis. Only time will tell.

Even more importantly, however, their "reunion" brings other questions to the fore. But those you'll have to discover for yourself when you see the film or we risk spoiling it for everyone.

De Caunes' film is funny, light-hearted, charming and entirely predictable in almost every way.

The casting, of course, is impeccable and, in the end, "Twice Upon a Time" makes for 92 minutes of enjoyable film watching. Just remember that although it is a French film, it feels entirely American. 

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.