No one can put a value on love. But you can put a value on food, clothing, and shelter, as well as cars, jewelry, and vacations. In this charming French romantic comedy, we meet Irène (Audrey Tautou), a woman who wants a love that she can hold in her hands.
Irène is a sugar baby who has managed to survive quite comfortably by being the eye-candy and companion to wealthy men who are captivated by her beauty and disarmed by her wit. In exchange for her companionship and conversation, these men gladly open up their wallets to buy her whatsoever her heart desires. Irène’s current sugar daddy, Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff) takes Irène to the same luxury hotel for her birthday two years in a row. The first time, she meets waiter/lobbyman Jean (Gad Elmaleh), who’s stuck playing barman for the evening and, after Irène mistakes him for a hotel guest, they have a one-night stand. The following year, events repeat themselves, only this time, Jacques finds out and dumps her.
With her meal ticket gone, and then discovering to her horror that Jean is a hotel employee and not a millionaire, Irène sets out to find a new man, but Jean is in love and set on winning her heart. After coming out of pocket to woo her, Jean takes his turn being a sugar baby when he catches the eye of wealthy businesswoman, Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam), with Irène as his coach as the two use their youth and sexual prowess to get back on their feet.
As Irène falls in love with Jean, and he more so with her, we see that, although love is a beautiful thing; it can’t pay the bills. And there’s something to be said for having food in your belly and a place to lay your head at night.
Although the film is well-written, well-cast, and entertaining from beginning to end, what stands out most is Jean, and the incredible amount of respect he has for Irène, a woman whom many men would have simultaneously lusted after and looked down upon. When she rejects him for being poor, he does not hate her because he failed to meet her criteria, and when they become friends, he (without an ounce of pettiness or resentment) gladly helps her when she needed him most.
Priceless beautifully shows how there are many ways to love a person, and that all love should be given freely, without reservations or expectations.
I give this one 4.25 stars.