You need to watch Call My Agent to know the truth about Parisian style

Andrew M. Santos

The beauteous Cécile de France, playing herself, is rejected by Quentin Tarantino for a role because, at 39, she’s informed she’s too old. A career lifeline is flung provided she agrees to having “procedures”. Disgusted, she refuses – until her wily agent shows her a picture of his youthful and natural-looking fiftysomething wife and, with the experienced smoothness of an insurance salesman, lists all the tweakments she’s had.

There are also style lessons, from understated make-up and more or less natural hair colour to Discreetly Botoxed Wife’s grey corduroy trouser-suit, which I tried and failed for months to track down. Incidentally, she is played by Philippine Leroy‑Beaulieu, who also appears in Emily in Paris, where she’s a cartoon Parisian nightmare.

These characters and their clothes are lovably real – you can imagine them being tetchily Parisian when required. There’s the rookie assistant, who at the outset wears bobbly jumpers and something suspiciously akin to stone-washed jeans (forgive her, she’s not originally from Paris); the put-upon, frumpy PA who wears wrap dresses and proves that some French women do put on weight; the preppy lesbian who lives in a classic taupe trench, the gravel-voiced matriarch agent, one of the only characters to wear head-to-toe black and crimson lips at all times.

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