Les Petits Mouchoirs – **1/2

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Comedy, Drama, France, XX1/2

Seen at the UGC Brouckere

Marion Cotillard. What an actress! She performs with such a natural easiness that it doesn’t even seem like acting. A bit like Kate Winslet. She’s the absolute star of this French comical drama about ‘friendship’ and how we all live a few lies. In fact, she’s so good that all the other actors in this ensemble cast look like amateurs, which they aren’t of course, but still. After watching this movie you will want to see all the other movies she’s been in.

She plays Marie, a cannabis smoking and red wine drinking Parisian who goes on a holiday with some of her best friends while her ex boyfriend and still the love of her life  was brought to intensive care after a bad accident. She does doubt about going on the trip, but the others – who are also friends of the hospitalised guy – can convince her that there’s nothing she can do on the spot. And so they go to some place near the ocean with all of their doubts and secrets and they have laughs and cries and that’s basically all you need to know.

Cotillard’s boyfriend Guillaume Canet is the writer and director of this movie. Maybe it’s just me, but during the first half of the movie all I could think of was why this movie ever got made. It just seems like Guillaume sat together one night with Marion and some other friends when the idea popped up to go together on a holiday. Maybe they were short of cash. Maybe they just didn’t want to spend too much of their own money. So it appeared very possible to me that Guillaume came up with a script to get a movie financed filmed at the holiday spot of the group of friends. Because there’s really nothing happening in the first half of the movie and it’s filled with scenes that add nothing to the story but just show the actors having fun (doing water sports for instance and drinking a lot of wine).

After a while though you get more interested in the characters even though their situations are just every day situations and aren’t all that dramatic. And you continue to be curious to know what will happen to them and their relationships. But a few hours after leaving the theatre the interest is long gone.

That said, there are a few things that made the movie better than the average dramedy crap we see. Marion of course. But also some great directorial ideas that I really liked. The soundtrack was interesting and was also used to the fullest in certain scenes. There’s this scene where someone gets dumped and you see them talk but you only hear a song. You hear nothing of their conversation. And that’s a merit typical for this movie. You get to know more about the characters by looking at the screen, rather than listening. And in the end, that’s why we go to the movies. To LOOK.

 

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