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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Little White Lies

After my last post about the newly released dvd Submarine I thought I'd give you lot another one, this time its French comedy-drama Little White Lies. Like most of the films I rent I knew little about this foreign language film except that it had received praise and there had been a lot of talk about actress Marion Cotillard. The film centres on a group of friends that go ahead with their holiday despite the recent scooter accident which has left their nonfriend in hospital fighting for his life. The rest of the gang head for the holiday home but of course cut their holiday down to only two weeks in what we're lead to believe is a justifiable tribute.

What follows is a two and a half hour lacklustre adventure through the groups lives, the highlight is early on, when Vincent confesses his attraction for Max.

"I love your hands"

The problem I find with foreign language films is when they attempt comedy like Little White Lies flirts with from the onset it seems to get lost in the subtitles. When Vincent tells Max his true feelings there is a sense this should provoke a big laugh, I could only manage a giggle chuckle.

The rest of the film is taken up with contrived dramatic moments for each and every character, with each one that follows becoming more obvious than the last. Marion Cotillard's character is by far the most appealing character as it seems to have more depth, while the rest of the characters battle with a mixture of relationship breakdowns, sexuality and weasels. Each dramatic moment seems to be accompanied by a song posing the question when does a soundtrack become utterly pointless and forced?

The most annoying thing about the film apart from its unnecessary length is that its most annoying quality is even mentioned in the script. Spoiler alert Max's boat house friend (sub -character) finally break the news that Ludo has died of his injuries. With the climatic emotional scene in full swing they are all told how their selfish lives and lies have meant they have ignored their friend when he most needs them. The most annoying example of their selfishness is the holiday in the first place and then when one of the friends goes to ask advice about his love life while Ludo lays in hospital near death - Ludo even looks away and thus seems to suggest he's wondering how on earth he became friends with these people in the first place.

Verdict Little White Lies has its funny moments and the development of the characters will keep anyone half interested but the film is let down because of its length and thus by the end I did not care about the lives of these people. The film seemed like Guillaume Canet had read the "directing a comedy drama for dummies", it ticked all the boxes but it didn't do much else.


  1. Glad to see my length theory rubbed out on you! x


  2. Well when nothing happens in a film of two and half hours you start to have a problem.