Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paris in July: Remarks on Recent French Films I've Seen


I've had the chance to see three French films which I thought I would share for Paris in July

Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs anonymes) (2010) asks the question, how do two people who are painfully shy and suffer from anxiety fall in love? It's not an easy journey to love for Angélique and Jean-Réne. She attends meetings of a twelve step group for the painfully shy, and in moments of doubt, sings a French version of "I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music. In an attempt to conquer her shyness, Angélique takes a marketing job at a failing chocolate factory, even though her passion is making chocolate. Jean-Réne, the factory owner, is equally shy and trying to overcome his fear of most everything. He's seeing a therapist who urges him to meet a new person. How Angélique and Jean-Réne fall in love and how she saves the chocolate factory from going under make for a funny and touching film that I really enjoyed.

Bright Days Ahead (Les beaux jours) (2013) The wonderful Fanny Ardant plays Caroline, a recently retired dentist who has lost her best friend to cancer. She's feeling depressed, bored and unhappy that her husband and adult children are intent on making plans for her. What they have in mind is for Caroline to babysit the grandchildren. They also want her to take part in activities at a local senior center. Caroline attends a computer class at the senior center where she meets the computer instructor, who is the good looking, charming, and younger Julien (Laurent Lafitte). The sparks fly and soon, Caroline finds her life not so dull after all but a lot more complicated. I loved this film and recommend it.

Little White Lies (Les petits mouchoirs) (2010) This film has echoes of The Big Chill, but I didn't feel it was as good. Little White Lies is about a group of self-absorbed friends who vacation together every year. One of the friends, Ludo, a coke sniffing, hard drinking, ladies' man (played by The Artist's Jean Dujardin) is travelling the streets of Paris on his motor scooter when he's hit by a truck. The friends meet at the hospital where Ludo is fighting for his life, but the group decides Ludo shouldn't stop them from their vacation. They travel to the beach where they stay at the beach house of another friend in the group, restaurateur Max (François Cluzet). Control freak that he is, Max is equally exasperating but also provides some humor in this story. The plot is a bit slow, and at two hours and thirty five minutes in length, I expected more. The cast was excellent, and I felt they did the best they could with what they had to work with, but I can't recommend this film.

I found these films on Amazon Instant Video, and with a Prime membership, Romantics Anonymous and Les Beaux Jours are free to watch.

Have you seen any of these films? What French films have you seen recently?


7 comments:

  1. Good recommendations for an amazon prime member! Thanks.

    See you at Paris in July... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  2. I want to see all of these movies. Thanks for sharing them and letting me know which are available on Amazon Prime. I will add them to my queue right now.

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  3. I loved Romantics Anonymous. I thought it was so delightful and fun. Haven't seen the other two, though. But they sound good, too.

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  4. Thanks for the recommendations... off to see if I can find them on Netflix.

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  5. These all sound so interesting, I do love a French film, but find it hard to find out about them. I'm very curious about the first two particularly.

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  6. I really like the sound of Romantics Anonymous.

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  7. I saw Romantics Annonymous on a plane recently - really good and very funny. The other two are new to me. Thank you for sharing. I love a good french film on a miserable winters afternoon.

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