The posters for Populaire state, quite cheerfully, that the film is 'Mad Men meets The Artist'. I imagine the marketing guys took the afternoon off when they came up with that one – though if you put the line through Google Translate, setting the 'from' language to 'Advertising Jargon', the algorithms return this: 'It's set in the fifties! And it's French!' It's tough to work out who is being underestimated more by this overly-simplistic view – the audience, or the film itself.

Populaire might be set in the 1950s, and presented with a bright, colourful sheen – but it's a much frothier take on the world than the more explosive Mad Men. It might too be a homage to a lost era of cinema and, yes, French – but there is little of the emotional depth here that The Artist played out so deftly. Populaire has no great depths. No subtle nuances or treatises on the sexual politics of the world it inhabits. But why should we ask this of every film that sets its heart so firmly in the past.

Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) is the most small-towniest girls of all the small-town girls. Naïve and severely lacking in training, she is all but set to fail her interview with local insurance agent Louis Echard (Romain Duris) until a little typewriter-based cockiness wins her the job. It turns out that Pamphyle has one skill – she can type faster with her two fingers than Mavis Beacon can with all ten.

Pampyhle's unusual skill inspires her new employer, who decides she can only work for him under the condition that she indulges his competitive urges and takes part in the local speed-typing competition. The rest of the plot plays out exactly as you might expect. There's failures, successes, plenty of hugs that almost become kisses and more than a couple of huffs from either party.

In terms of plot, there is absolutely nothing remarkable about Populaire, bar perhaps that an engaging sports movie has been created around the ability to type quickly. But the plot is not where Populaire succeeds. Similarly, it does not succeed in creating the social commentary of the times that formed much of the content of Mad Men and The Artist. Rather, it succeeds simply in being enjoyable. Populaire is, without a doubt, one of the most fun films you will see this year.

Déborah François is a perfect leading lady for a film that constantly recalls the look and feel of Billy Wilder's Monroe comedies. As a sparring partner for her, Duris is dry and engaging – though something should be said of just how remarkably flat his face is. The two look great placed amongst the sprightly cinematography, which really comes into its own during the second act. Multi-coloured finger-nails, real hands framed on walls (which isn't nearly as sinister as it sounds) and dimples so deep they could have been made by the Eiffel Tower itself. It's refreshing, too, to find a French film not entirely desperate to play up its own Frenchiness. There are no shots of boulangeries over-flowing with fresh bread, or any of the other clichés that films love to throw in to appease American audiences. The focus here isn't on sacrificing anything for an international audience – just to present the most enjoyable film imaginable. And, without grand statements or deeper distractions, that's exactly what Populaire does.