Three friends face mid-life crises. Paul is a writer who's blocked. François has lost his ideals and practices medicine for the money; his wife grows distant, even hostile. The charming ... See full summary »
Three friends face mid-life crises. Paul is a writer who's blocked. François has lost his ideals and practices medicine for the money; his wife grows distant, even hostile. The charming Vincent, everyone's favorite, faces bankruptcy, his mistress leaves him, and his wife, from whom he's separated, wants a divorce. The strains on the men begin to show particularly in François and Paul's friendship and in Vincent's health. A younger man, Jack, becomes attractive to Lucie, François's wife. Another young friend, the boxer Jean, who's like a son to Vincent and whose girlfriend is pregnant, has taken a bout with a merciless slugger. Has happiness eluded this circle of friends? Written by
I can't believe there are no comments at all on this. I realize as well as anyone that art house movies are low on the totem pole at a site such as this where, not unnaturally nor, if it comes to that, unreasonably, mainstream fodder is the order of the day but I have seen sufficient comments, both favorable and otherwise, for French movies to know that there are people out there who both watch, enjoy and comment. Sautet himself has been well served via such titles as 'Cesar et Rosalie', 'Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud' etc to make this omission all the more inexplicable. However if someone has to start it may as well be someone who actually enjoyed, if not revelled in yet another restrained masterpiece. Once again the old creative team of Sautet and Dabadie provide a solid base for the actors to excel. Montand is, of course, superb. Thorough as ever he did in-depth research on heart attacks and when it came time to simulate one he scared the bejesus out of cast and crew who, to a man, thought he had really suffered a stroke. Non-French viewers will perhaps be unaware of any secondary meanings - it was made at a time when France was experiencing social upheaval and reflected this in the storyline - but, as with all the best messages, it is not necessary to be hip to social conditions to enjoy superb performances and great storytelling. Sautet is one of a handful of directors who seldom, if ever, make a bad, dull or uninteresting movie and this belongs with his best.
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