Paper Wedding

The unwary might regard this French Canadian feature as a blatant rip-off of Green Card, but in fact it’s the earlier filmand a much better one. Though lacking the yuppie preoccupations (such as real estate) and cute star mugging (Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell) that were Green Card’s selling points, the basic plot is the same: a well-to-do single woman (Genevieve Bujold) is persuaded to marry a penniless Chilean (Manuel Arangiz) to save him from deportation, then is drawn to him while trying to convince the immigration authorities that their marriage is genuine. The director here is Michel Brault, best known for his brilliance as a cinematographer, and the sensitive low-key script is mainly the work of Jefferson Lewis. This isn’t a major work, but unlike Green Card it’s never a phony one; the characters and situations ring true throughout (1989). (JR)

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