In Shall We Kiss?, the men are getting screwed—but usually by a lot of talk, not the more fun way. Gabriel (Michaël Cohen), for one, tries to get a kiss from Emilie (Julie Gayet) after a serendipitous meeting on a Nantes street results in dinner and drinks. Instead, the poor guy gets a story. He remains rap—Gayet’s Catherine Deneuve-like beauty helps—but you may grow impatient with writer-director-star Emmanuel Mouret’s Woody Allen-on-downers romantic comedy, in which the characters aren’t neurotic so much as infuriatingly polite. The central couple is not Gabriel and Emilie but Judith (Virginie Ledoyen) and Nicolas (Mouret), two best friends who hesitantly become more when Nicolas confesses he needs to get laid (though in many, many more words, because Judith, an attractive married woman, initially doesn’t quite get what “starved for affection” means). After excruciatingly drawn-out foreplay in which permission is asked before every move (see the title), the friends discover, duh, that they’ve been hot for each other all along. The other half of the story involves the ramifications of their affair—likewise discussed with courtesy so robotic it nearly kills the illusion of passion between them—and what it all means for Gabriel and Emilie. There’s enough charm, humor, and unpredictability here to keep the film likable despite its wordiness. But once Judith and Nicolas start wondering, for instance, how there can be peace in the world when such horrid people as they exist, you’ll be ready for everyone’s stories to reach their ever-afters.