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Things start promisingly in this French comedy, set in 1962, in which Parisian businessman Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini) befriends the Spanish immigrant maids who live in the tiny sixth-floor rooms of his apartment building.
At first, the Spaniards' carefree attitude especially the tenderness of his new maid, Maria (Natalia Verbeke) begins to warm the stodgy conservatism of both Jean-Louis and his status-conscious wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain), while Jean-Louis begins to gain empathy for life among the service classes (sort of like "The Help," without the civil-rights drama).
But director/co-writer Philippe Le Guay loses the handle on his story, turning it into a midlife-crisis fantasy that betrays everything that has happened before.
'The Women on the 6th Floor'
Opens Friday, Dec. 23 at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably PG-13 for some sexuality and language; in French with subtitles; 104 minutes.