Arnaud (Kévin Azaïs) is looking forward to a summer hanging out with his friends and learning his family’s carpentry trade, but when he meets Madeleine (César Award-winning actress Adèle Haenel), it’s love at first fight.
Convinced that an apocalypse is fast approaching, Madeleine is focussed on honing her survival skills at an army boot camp, and with nothing more exciting on offer, Arnaud decides to sign up with her. As Madeleine and Arnaud learn to fend for themselves, they begin to grow closer until their private world in the wilderness comes under attack.
Love at First Fight is a clever mix of restrained European auteur filmmaking and slick Hollywood-style technique. The two central performances and minor characters are perfectly nuanced, blending humour and drama in interesting roles, with Nicolas Wanczycki particularly memorable as the boot camp commander who fails to meet Madeleine’s high standards.
Winner of three prizes in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sidebar in 2014, Thomas Cailley’s debut feature is an entertaining dramatic comedy about falling in love and surviving that is sure to please New Zealand audiences.