Haute couture meets horticulture in Chic!, Jérôme Cornuau's high-fashion rom-com. The film begins in crisis, with famed designer Alicia Ricosi (Fanny Ardant) on the verge of axing her new collection after her latest heartbreak. Thus is overworked underling Hélène (Marina Hands) tasked with finding her boss a new muse to "inspire and transcend." Problems naturally arise when the boss takes a liking to the landscaper (Éric Elmosnino) whom Hélène has made a habit of condescending to and insulting.
The woman-behind-the-woman is thorny and remote, the landscaper a salt-of-the-earth type with no patience for rich elitists; you can likely work out the rest on your own, which isn't to say that Chic!'s predictability precludes the minor charms inherent to such a setup. Cornuau plays up the fish-out-of-water dynamic on both counts, first as Hélène traverses the landscaper's rural town via turnip cart, then with his reluctantly accepting an exorbitant sum to become part of a world he couldn't care less for. Some conventions remain perpetually en vogue for a reason. It helps that the main trio and everyone around them seems to believe in the material more than it deserves, keeping Chic! more sincere than some of its above-it-all characters.