From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
L'Appartement (1996) is a critically acclaimed French film starring Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci, Jean-Philippe Écoffey and Romane Bohringer. Directed by Gilles Mimouni, this love-triangle mystery drama follows one man's obsession and love for a woman in Paris, when he should be in Tokyo.
Max (Vincent Cassel) is a former playboy who decides to settle down and get married to his boss' sister, Muriel. By chance, he catches glimpse of his great lost love, Lisa (Monica Bellucci) in a cafe but fails to make contact before she storms out. Determined to meet her, Max cancels his business trip abroad to pursue her, finds out where she lives, then hides in her apartment.
However, when a different girl returns she suspects Max of being a burglar and begins to attack him. Max calms her down and is shocked at her remarkable resemblance to Lisa. The girl's name is Alice (Romane Bohringer) who claims to be a nurse and not know who Lisa is. Though the two become romantically linked, Max is still obsessed with Lisa.
Flashbacks are intertwined with the current narrative which provide us with backstories for Max, Lisa and Alice, shedding further light on the present situation. We learn that Alice and Lisa are in fact best friends, and that Alice had become obsessed with Max from a distance, restyling herself to look like Lisa while secretly engineering a break up between them.
Meanwhile, Lisa is being pursued by an obsessive rich lover who may have murdered his wife to get closer to Lisa. For this reason she avoids her flat, and instead loans it to Alice. To complicate matters further, Alice happens to be dating Max's best friend, Lucien, who acts as the confidant for Max.
Eventually, the truth begins to unravel in front of everyone's eyes leading to dramatic and life changing consequences for all involved.
The film was remade in America as Wicker Park in 2004.
- Vincent Cassel - Max
- Monica Bellucci - Lisa
- Romane Bohringer - Alice
- Jean-Philippe Écoffey - Lucien
- Sandrine Kiberlain - Muriel
- Olivier Granier - Daniel