This French (with subtitles) movie provides a cinematic retort to "A Kiss is Just a Kiss."
A kiss is never just a kiss, this movie seems to be saying. One kiss can alter the entire course of a life. For better or for worse.
Shall We Kiss? starts with a typical "meet cute," which sets up the premise. A lovely woman is in town on business and can't find a taxi. She asked a handsome passerby where to hail a cab, and he offers to take her to her hotel. He invites her to dinner and, since she has nothing else to do, she accepts. When he drops her back at the hotel, he asks politely for a kiss. She tells him she cannot allow it, given what she knows about how there's really no such thing as an innocent kiss. With that, he's so intrigued that he insists on hearing the story.
From there, we see the story in flashbacks involving another couple -- seemingly happily married -- and the wife's (male) best friend. Their story takes a number of unpredictable and, at times, hysterical turns. At one point, we're treated to the most clinical, least passionate movie love scene in recent memory. It's intentionally funny.
If all this sounds like standard rom-com fare, it's not. There are funny parts, but this movie is much more melancholy than your average romantic comedy. On one level, it's a rumination on how hard it is for couples to stay together and remain faithful -- even in the happiest of marriages.
The story told in flashbacks is so engaging, it's easy to forget that our storyteller is back in a hotel bar with a man she's just met who is hanging on her every word. Hers is a cautionary tale, alright, but will both protagonists be able to resist a little liplock after all the time they've spent together and all the vin rouge they've drunk? Find out for yourself. See it.