By Andrea Karen Hammer
Women on the 6th Floor is a gem of a movie, with a simple yet highly entertaining plot.
At the center of this foreign film, Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini, Potiche, The Girl From Monaco) effectively expresses disinterest in his bourgeois life in Paris during the 1960s. Disengaged from his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chabon), he feels more alive helping, interacting with and eventually joining the Spanish maids who live in the family’s 6th-floor servant quarters. Filled with zest and joie de vivre, the group’s simple gatherings and lively conversation reawaken his passion for life.
Enchanting Spanish Maid Casts a Spell
Maria (Natalia Verbeke, The Other Side of the Bed, Son of the Bride), the family’s new Spanish maid, is particularly instrumental in re-igniting Jean-Louis’ senses. From teaching him Spanish with an unusual technique to caring for him when he fakes an illness just to remain home with her, Maria completely casts her spell on him. Through Natalia Verbeke‘s enchanting talents as an actress in the role of Maria, Fabrice Luchini‘s Jean-Louis remains smitten with her, even after she reveals unconventional news.
Rejected Wife Reveals Stark Contrasts
As the rejected wife, Suzanne’s (Sandrine Kiberlain‘s) circle offers a stark contrast in the class system. Playing her role with fitting rigidity, the actress captures the attitude of condescending socialites lunching in expensive restaurants. Together, they provide a polar view of the relaxed and lively meals that the Spanish maids–and eventually Jean-Louis–enjoy together.
Delightful Conclusion Follows Gap in Time
The generally uneventful but enjoyable flow of Women on the 6th Floor is disrupted when a surprising turn of events prompts Maria’s sudden departure. A confusing jump to a scene 3 years later leaves viewers wondering about the gap in time. However, the conclusion of this foreign film offers a satisfying and delightful resolution, celebrating unlikely matches bridging class divides with enduring love.