Angélique Delange (Isabelle Carré), the female lead in French romantic comedy Romantics Anonymous (Les Emotifs Anonymes) lives through the film in a single almond green double-breasted belted Cacharel coat accessorised with a complementary bright red checked scarf. The outfit is shorthand for her personality: the pale, mousy exterior of a timid and her warm, engaging personality shining through.
From the first shot of Angélique applying for a job at her local chocolate factory, the green coat is a promise. Colour of hope and regeneration, the coat symbolises both her instincts to blend in her surroundings and her desire to escape her shyness. It stands for her refusal to be acknowledged as the best chocolate maker in her city for fear it would block her creativity and her working on her emotional issues by going to an emotional people support group.
Often considered as bad luck by actors and dressmakers, psychologists hold green as a colour suggesting the need for fulfillment and self-confidence. Both are characteristics of Angelique’s psyche she’s highly aware of, even singing about them in a self-affirming song: “With every step I’m more certain/Everything will be all right/I’m convinced the world belongs to me/They’ll acknowledge so because I’m self-confident after all”.
The coat also contributes to anchoring the film in an alternative, timeless, location-less reality. In his commentaries, director Jean-Pierre Améris explains he wanted to create a Romantics world of its own, not dissimilar from Amélie Poulain’s quirkiness. In a season-spanning trench coat shape and pastel hue, the coat exemplifies the film’s entire aesthetics.