Angel-A has been on my to-see list for eons; released in France some 18 months ago, it put in a brief, one-week engagement at the local artsy theatre. Hurrah! While the older moviegoers at this theatre are fairly common, I was surprised at the group of young guys who came in and chatted loudly before the titles rolled.
I'm sure it had nothing to do with the leading actress being a 5'10" tall leggy blonde. Surely not. I have no doubt they're die-hard noir-esque cinema fans.
Andre is an American in Paris, who's managed to plug away at his time there with scams and bad debts; we open with him being beaten up and threatened with great bodily harm and death if he doesn't not one, but two, separate loan sharks, both by midnight that very night.
After the U.S. embassy turns him away on account of his recent convictions in France, he's getting ready to throw himself off a bridge (try to overlook the bridge being only 20-30 feet off the water)... and he looks over to see Angela, who's preparing to kill herself, too. She jumps, he's now feeling compelled to step out of his self-pity mode and save her, pulling her to safety.
She thanks him for nothing, as they size each other up and his 5'5" height (and her in heels and up a step) have her towering over him. Angela offers her gratitude by doing whatever he tells her, and she ends up coming up with money, quick, to pay off his debts.
They end up striking up an odd sort of relationship, and Angela soon reveals she's an angel, sent on a mission to help him pull his head out of his self-absorbed... being. (Angela, Angel-A, clever, eh? Gotta love the French.)
It's no Spider-Man 3, and that's part of its charm. It's in French (duh), it's shot entirely in black-and-white, and it offers some nice views of Paris (beyond the cliche Eiffel Tower, which is in there as well, naturally... maybe a movie-making rule or something).
Angela is likeable, even beyond the tall blonde girl thing. She's encumbered with a number of human faults and failings, despite being a heavenly being personified. Andre is, by and large, his own worst enemy, choosing to tell tall tales instead of the truth and getting himself deeper into his own self-imposed problems. Angela helps him learn the value of the truth, and he manages to realize there's a world revolving beyond himself.
If you manage to find this one nearby, and are looking for something outside of the Hollywood productions, Angel-A is worth the time.