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“This is a quintessentially French film based on a...”

Written on: 22/09/2009 by dhayes22 (54 reviews written)

This is a quintessentially French film based on a quintessentially English book if that makes sense!

The film is based on a book by one of the ultimate of chroniclers of the foibles and snobberies of the British middle classes, Joseph Connolly, whose books are, bizarrely, hugely popular in France. Which is a good thing, because there is no way a book about like Summer Things would have been made by and English or American Production companies.

It is one of those peculiarly French movies where nothing happens but a lot happens. It's based over a couple of summer months and tracks the activities of friends and neighbours in an unnamed but upmarket Paris suburb (probably Neuilly).

The main couple in the movie played by Charlotte Rampling and Jacques Dutronc are the ultimate golden pair; he's a millionaire businessman, she's his beautiful wife who keeps his immaculate home. Lou Doillon plays the spoilt and rebellious daughter. He's having an affair with a transsexual, she's trying to seduce the neighbours teenage son. So far, so French!

Their friends and neighbours are a motley bunch of hysterics, snobs, tarts and losers who variously love and loathe each other depending on the combination. When aforementioned golden couple decided to head to the seaside for a week the neighbours all head off too trying to keep up with the Joneses (as it were). Hilarity ensues as the saying goes.

The comedy is in the small details of the movie not the overall story which is very gentle. It's the hen-pecked, loser husband of the snob wife trying to kill himself by jumping off a cliff but landing in a pile of mud and going deaf or the crazy stalker of an ex-girlfriend who drives himself crazy trying to follow her every move and getting the wrong end of every stick.

Charlotte Rampling and Carole Bouquet are amazing in this movie and is Clotilde Courau. But the real star is an actress called Melanie Laurant who is like a younger more uptight version of Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances.

This is the kind of movie the French make very well and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for an upbeat movie for a rainy Sunday to cheer you up!

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