ⓘ Little White Lies (2010 film)

                                     

ⓘ Little White Lies (2010 film)

Little White Lies is a 2010 French comedy-drama film written and directed by Guillaume Canet, starring an ensemble cast of François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Jean Dujardin, Laurent Lafitte, Valerie Bonneton and Pascale Arbillot. The original French title is Les Petits Mouchoirs, which means "the small handkerchiefs". The film was released in France on 20 October 2010.

                                     

1. Title

The French title Les Petits Mouchoirs refers to a French expression mettre dans sa poche avec son mouchoir par-dessus, which means "to put something in your pocket with your handkerchief on top of it", in other words, to keep something hidden, try to forget about it, not want to think about it.

                                     

2. Plot

On leaving a Paris nightclub late at night, Ludo Jean Dujardin rides away on his scooter and is broadsided by a speeding truck that ran a red light. Lying between life and death in the hospital, Ludo is visited by his band of longtime friends, who decide that the gruesome crash should not prevent them from embarking on their summer holidays.

Prior to the trip, another major problem arises when one of the friends, osteopath Vincent Benoit Magimel, confesses his attraction to restaurateur Max François Cluzet. Both are married, and Max clearly is not interested, so when they arrive later with their families at his seaside cottage, tension is high. The groups stress level is further increased by pot-smoking rebel Marie Marion Cotillard, lovesick actor Eric Gilles Lellouche and the even more lovesick Antoine Laurent Lafitte, all of whom are suffering from failed or failing relationships.

                                     

3. Cast

  • Laurent Lafitte as Antoine
  • Maxim Nucci as Franck
  • François Cluzet as Max Cantara
  • Anne Marivin as Juliette
  • Pascale Arbillot as Isabelle Ribaud
  • Jean Dujardin as Ludo
  • Joel Dupuch as Jean-Louis
  • Valerie Bonneton as Veronique Cantara
  • Louise Monot as Lea
  • Gilles Lellouche as Eric
  • Benoit Magimel as Vincent Ribaud
  • Marion Cotillard as Marie
  • Hocine Merabet as Nassim
                                     

4. Production

The script took five months to write. The cast lived for three days in May at the house which would be used as a principal filming location, so it would feel familiar to them when they returned in the summer. The film began production in August 2009 and ended in October. The shooting took place in Paris and Cap Ferret.

                                     

5. Release

The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released in France on 20 October 2010 through EuropaCorp Distribution, who launched it on over 550 screens.

                                     

6. Reception

The film received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes scores it at 41%.

Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four, remarking, "The American film that comes to mind is The Big Chill It is the oyster fisherman who finally regards them all and presents the plain-spoken truth. What he says was waiting for someone to say. Joel Dupuch says it so well I hope he acts again. He has the presence. There are times when Little White Lies seems to meander, until we realize it knows exactly where it is going."

The film was panned by Philippe Azoury of Liberation, who thought it was too long, strangely cast, and that all of its female characters were stereotypes. Le Parisien s Marie Sauvion was more ambivalent and divided the review in a pros and a cons section. The pros were that she found the genre in itself sympathetic, and how the film manages to use individual scenes to give the viewer a feeling of participation and shared enjoyment. On the negative side, she thought it was too unsubtle and predictable, and uses too much music to intensify emotional scenes, "In case we didnt understand when to be moved?" The film won Londons Favourite French Film award in 2011.