Miou-Miou, Camille Cottin, Camille Chamoux
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…at times funny and silly though slightly tone deaf in the era of #metoo; ultimately, it’s eager to keep things enjoyably breezy and light.
French filmmaker Eloise Lang (and collaborator Noémie Saglio) co-directed Harry Me! The Royal Bitch of Buckingham, a Borat-inspired hidden camera faux-doco that saw its boorish, aggressive and abusive star Camille Cottin carving her way through upper class English aristocracy in order to find and marry Prince Harry, or a similarly posh and wealthy man who could bridge the class divide for her and improve her station in life. Cottin and Lang have re-teamed on a more conventional, broader-aimed vehicle: a romantic comedy with a more US-oriented leaning (and also a remake of the Danish film All Inclusive).
It stars Cottin as a ne’er-do-well daughter and unrepentant party girl Rose who, along with her tightly-wound older sister Alice (Camille Chamoux) accompanies their mother Francoise (played by French star Miou-Miou, whose decades-long CV boasts collaborations with many of the French greats, from Louis Malle to Michel Gondry) on a tropical getaway to the idyllic Reunion island, in order to celebrate their mother’s birthday. There, the sisters decide to make the trip as positive an experience as possible for their newly divorced mother, whose ex-husband, we learn, has just announced to the sisters that he and his new paramour are expecting a child.
Deciding to keep this information on the down low, the sister’s set about trying to do their best to give their mother a holiday to remember. For Rose, it seems like a good idea to drunkenly ask fellow guest Thierry (Johan Heldenbergh), a man she’s just had a one-night fling with, to show her mother ‘a good time’ for an evening, by asking her to dance, buying her a drink and then making an excuse and leaving, presumably in an effort to boost her mother’s self-esteem. Things don’t go to plan and instead, a romance develops between Francoise and Thierry. Things get complicated quickly, as they often do in French romantic comedies and soon both sisters are trying to find a way to avoid their mother discovering that her new lover is her daughter’s old lover.
While very much in keeping with the operatic comedic pitch of Lang’s previous work, this is the kind of bright and shiny romantic farce that France is best known for (and usually get snapped up as remake fodder by US studios). It’s at times funny and silly though slightly tone deaf in the era of #metoo; ultimately, it’s eager to keep things enjoyably breezy and light.