Take a chance on me is a heartwarming film about turning your luck around and seeing your full potential

Take a chance on me
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Early on in Take a chance on me, waitress Marie-Line (Louane Emera, The Belier Family, AFFFF 2015) has bad luck finding herself fired from her job for spilling drinks all over a customer and arguing with him. It’s even worse luck for her when that customer turns out to be the Judge (Michel Blanc, A Good Doctor, AFFFF 2023) deciding her case in which she’s accused of assault.

Take a chance on me

Putting aside the fact that a claim of bias would likely be made or the Judge would recuse themselves for knowing the accused, Take a chance on me is a heart-warming, if not a little predictable, story of the Judge putting his faith in a 25 year old woman and the young woman not only learning a thing or two from his wisdom but sharing some of her own.


After he orders her to pay 1500 euros in damages, she spots him on the street and confronts him telling him that she has no way to pay it, after all it was spilling drinks on him that made her lose her job. He sees something in her and hires her as his driver for the month.


Over that month, during many car journeys, they will engage in many conversations and get to know each other better. The Judge refuses to believe the “I’m poor, it’s too late for me, I have no other choice than to do menial jobs” line, something he’s no doubt heard hundreds of times before in his court. He tries to encourage Marie-Line to be more curious, to look things up when she doesn’t know them (she’s amused by the word symbiosis that she hears on his preferred radio station), to learn.


Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Améris (Country Cabaret, AFFFF 2023, Romantics Anonymous, AFFFF 2011, C’est la vie), Take a chance on me is based on a novel called “Changer le sens des rivières” by Murielle Magellan, who Jean-Pierre Améris has often worked with as a scriptwriter on his films.


Of the main characters, the Director says:

Marie-Line, the heroine, has not been spared by life, but she has a very strong drive for life, a joie de vivre. I like this kind of female character who has difficulties but fights on. And the character of the judge is close to me: a bit lonely, a bit reserved.”

Anne Schotte was responsible for the costumes and created Marie-Line’s mini skirt, boots, cropped low cut top, pink hair look. It was inspired by English style, with Améris saying:

I love England and this type of girl dressed in this type of outfit, who doesn’t realise that when they walk into a café everyone is looking at them, and who is in fact a tender heart.”


Louane Emera shines as the always bubbly and positive despite her lot in life, Marie-Line. We haven’t seen any of her films but will watch with interest based on her strong performance in Take a chance on me. Michel Blanc is great as the grumpy, stubborn older Judge in the film, but we can’t help but feel he’s perhaps a little typecast, playing a similar cranky man who softens over time in A Good Doctor, at last year’s festival.


Victor Belmondo (Lie with me, AFFFF 2023, Fly me away, AFFFF 2021) plays Alexandre, the victim of the assault. He had been dating Marie-Line before suddenly ghosting her, ignoring her messages and calls, without any explanation. He’s very affectionate when they’re together, until she meets his friends and they question what they could possibly have in common, especially with Alexandre obsessed with cinema, and her more into reality TV.


Philippe Rebbot (Wilderness Therapy also at this year’s festival, Delete History, AFFFF 2021, Normandy Nude, AFFFF 2018) plays Marie-Line’s unemployed father, who lost a leg in an industrial accident. He doesn’t leave the house and resents his other daughter getting into drugs, leaving them, and never making contact. Marie-Line is essentially his carer, doing the grocery shopping, making food for them both, reminding him to take his medication. He plays a more serious role in this than we are accustomed to seeing him in but he brought humour to the pessimistic character.


Take a chance on me is a heart-warming film about the power of giving someone a chance, and the encouragement to live up to their full potential.




We chat to Karine Mauris, Artistic Director of the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2024



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