Would I Lie To You? review

A down-on-his-luck gentile is mistaken for a Jew in Paris' garment district and finds his life transformed overnight in Thomas Gilou's spry farce. If this sounds like 2001's The Closet, in which Daniel Auteuil's put-upon corporate drone pretended to be gay, it's unintentional: Would I Lie To You? was made in 1997. Still, you can't help noticing similarities - - not least because star Richard Anconina seems to have half-inched Auteuil's hangdog expression.

It may have been a hit in its native country, but it remains a mystery why a 1997 comedy is only now receiving a UK release. Could it be a response to the alarming rise of racist and anti-Semitic incidents in France? If so, you wish that Gilou had challenged stereotypes, not just reinforced them: all the Jewish rag-traders Anconina meets are tight-fisted, angst-ridden neurotics brow-beaten by their domineering Yiddish mums.

It's good fun, though: the kind of film that Woody Allen would make if he were French and still funny.

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