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A kooky French comedy produced in 2001.

Amélie is a young women who was raised in a very unloving home. It's not that her parents are bad parents, they're just not very warm. Amélie father is a doctor and one of the highlights of Amélie's month as a child is her father giving her a monthly checkup. It is the only human touchy-feely contact Amélie ever has from her family.

There is such a lack of warmth in the house that Amélie's goldfish, Blubber, is constantly trying to commit suicide. He does this by intentionally jumping out of his bowl. Everyone scrambles as Blubber flips and flops across the floor in an effort to get under the refrigerator where no one can save him. Eventually he succeeds, but Amélie's father saves the day by getting him out with a broom handle. After that, Blubber is doomed to be set free in a park stream where he will not be able to kill himself.

Amélie childhood is devastated by yet another suicide related event. While strolling down the avenue, Amélie's mother is squashed by a man who jumps from a twenty-story building. By the time his body lands on top of Amélie's mother, he is traveling at the speed of sound and pulverizes her.

Amélie father raises her to young adulthood and Amélie moves-out as soon as possible. She finds her own apartment and lands a job in a busy café-restaurant. There are all sorts of whacked-out people who either work in the café or are patrons of it. Amélie likes her job but is determined to find meaning in life somewhere.

Her life is forever changed on the day that Princess Dianna dies in a traffic accident. While standing in the bathroom, Amélie hears the news on the radio and drops a bottle of shampoo that glances-off a tile on the wall near the floor. The tile falls off and behind it is a secret compartment containing a small, rectangular tin. Inside the tin is a picture, a small toy airplane, a ball of string, and other small items of a boy's childhood. Amélie has found her purpose.

Using the picture, Amélie is determined to find the man who was the boy in the picture and return the tin. She questions the manager of the apartment and the custodian and anybody who has lived in the apartment for a long time. With persistence, she eventually does finds the man, now in middle age, and anonymously leaves the tin where he will find it. He does, and when he picks it up and opens it, tears of joy and nostalgia stream down his face as he recalls all the happy moments associated with each of the items in the tin.

Now Amélie is certain she has found the meaning of her life. She sets out to do small good deeds for everyone, at every opportunity she can find. She is also determined to punish the cruel shopkeeper on the avenue who is constantly ridiculing and humiliating his young assistant in front of customers. With this in mind, she gets a key to the shopkeeper's apartment and when he is at the shop she enters the apartment and changes all the door handles so that they are backwards. They close when they should open and open when they should close. She also switches all the light bulbs around, cuts the shoelaces on his shoes so the laces will break the next time he puts the shoes on, and adjusts the mechanism in his alarm clock so that it appears to be set for eight AM but will go off at four in the morning.

Eventually the movies turns into a love story, but it's a kooky, funny movie with very poignant moments. French with English sub-titles.
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Yes I saw this a few years ago at the cinema. THAT HAIRCUT and the impish face was voted as one of the top 10 most favourite films in Australia.

I usually like French films because they don't stick to the usual 3-act structure... they always suprise.

You might also like the French trilogy Three Colours... [based on blue, red, white, of the French tricolour flag) - particularly the first one, Three Colours White.
Poignant, funny, sad, quirky and full of surprises. tfro
.

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