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Empty Days (1999)
"Rien à faire" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 279 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 9 critic

An executive and a dowdy working-class woman, both unemployed, married and parents meet at a supermarket. They become friends but find it hard to accept that they may be in love with each other.


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Title: Empty Days (1999)

Empty Days (1999) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Dell'Isola ...
Florence Thomassin ...
Kelly Hornoy ...
Marion des Fachelles ...
Jérémy Bourgois ...
Chloé Mons ...
Alexandre Carrière ...
Farida Rahouadj ...
Marie, the neighbour
Josette Hemsen ...
Philippe Peltier ...
Frédérique Hazard ...
Jo Hochain ...
Sarah Hamoud ...
Colleague in canteen


An executive and a dowdy working-class woman, both unemployed, married and parents meet at a supermarket. They become friends but find it hard to accept that they may be in love with each other.

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Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

1 December 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Empty Days  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Lettre a Vous
Performed by Ariane
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User Reviews

everything is alright when you are on the dole
17 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Rien à faire" is a watchable and enjoyable flick for one main reason. Marion Vernoux, the director had intuition by choosing Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi for the main role. It is a real joy to see fer acting on the screen and her big talent, her soft voice are widely sufficient to justify the vision of this film. It is all the more beneficial as she's ably assisted by her main partner Patrick Dell'Isola.

Marion Vernoux put very well in parallel her two main actors' living conditions. The contrast constitutes one of her best weapons between the naive and the simple-minded Marie and Pierre who appears as a lucid and clever man. This contrast is highlighted when the director evokes difference and misunderstanding about several points commented by the two characters. Another interesting detail: the supermarket plays the role of meeting between the two universes.

Then, the author built her movie around one of the biggest plagues at the end of the twentieth century: unemployment. So, you could expect to discover a bleak and hopeless atmosphere. It is not the case. The relative seriousness of the situation remains confined in the background. A certain joy of living comes out of the film. Marie and Pierre are jobless but while searching for a job, they take time to know themselves, to help each other and eventually to fall in love. Marion Vernoux lets us suggest the reasons why they become lovers. You feel that Marie gets on rather badly with her husband (Sergi Lopez). As for Pierre, he falls in love with Marie, mainly because he doesn't succeed in finding a job again.

However, this work isn't without a few faults. Certain sequences can be judged as conventional (like the one when Pierre explains to Marie why he wants to put an end to their love affair) and I think an extra touch of passion would have given the movie more strength.

Anyway, I repeat it: this movie is worth watching especially for Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and given the treatment Marion Vernoux made of her subject, her work can be taken for a cousin of the movie: "en avoir ou pas..." (1995) by Laetitia Masson.

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