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Let's Talk About the Rain (2008)
"Parlez-moi de la pluie" (original title)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 June 2010 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,417 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 9 user | 65 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Agnes Jaoui plays a local political candidate Agathe Villanova, who returns to her childhood home in the south of France in order to help her sister Florence (Pascale Arbillot) sort through... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Agathe Villanova
...
Michel Ronsard
...
Karim
Pascale Arbillot ...
Florence
Guillaume de Tonquedec ...
Stéphane
...
Antoine
Mimouna Hadji ...
Mimouna
Florence Loiret Caille ...
Aurélie (as Florence Loiret-Caille)
Anne Werner ...
Séverine
Laurent Jarroir ...
Guillaume
Jean-Claude Baudracco ...
Ernest, le paysan 1
Luc Palun ...
Didier, le paysan 2
Marc Betton ...
Horowitz, le producteur
François Gédigier ...
Le monteur
Bernard Nissile ...
L'homme du baptême (as Bernard Nissille)
Edit

Storyline

Agnes Jaoui plays a local political candidate Agathe Villanova, who returns to her childhood home in the south of France in order to help her sister Florence (Pascale Arbillot) sort through their recently deceased mother's belongings. While she's there, the son (Jamel Debbouze as Karim) of family maid (Mimouna Hadji) takes advantage of her presence and attempts to interview her as part of a documentary about successful women that he's undertaken with his film school teacher, Michel (co-writer Jean-Pierre Bacri). However, Michel's intentions aren't quite what they seem, as he's having an affair with Florence and hoping to persuade her to leave her husband. Meanwhile, Karim finds his own marriage threatened when his attractive hotel co-worker (Florence Loiret-Caille) declares an interest in him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

18 June 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Let it rain  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,660 (USA) (25 June 2010)

Gross:

$106,093 (USA) (6 August 2010)
 »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Jaoui is speaking to a small audience here.
18 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Let's Talk About the Rain is about as exciting and entertaining as, well, talking about the rain. Such a discussion may warrant some interesting insights into the person you are communicating with and in turn you may learn a little about yourself, but it certainly wouldn't go on for two hours. In what would have been a much more concise and in turn, poignant project, director Agnès Jaoui makes a fine impression here but also shows a lack of restraint in her ability to know when to cut apart her work. It can be lightly amusing and uplifting, insightful and has character work that puts many of this year's features to shame, yet it also lacks any momentum, or motivation; main character Michel Ronsard would say they are the same thing, and Jaoui neglects both. In the end the director's feature comes off as an exceptional study of character but one devoid of any significance outside of its practice. From beginning to end the performances and writing establish that Let's Talk About the Rain is strictly an academic exercise in documenting. A fine piece of character study, but lacking any resounding message or clear intent, Jaoui succumbs to the astute pointlessness that too often dominates such directors' work.

With little to no plot at all, Let's Talk About the Rain tells the paper thin story of a group of individuals loosely connected through family, friends and colleagues. The central figures of this collage come in the form of incompetent documentary film-maker Michel Ronsard (Jean-Pierre Bacri), his talented assistant Karim (Jamel Debbouze) and their subject; a successful politician and feminist Agathe Villanova (Agnès Jaoui). Using these characters and those around them Jaoui does well to tell an engaging story that slowly unravels the layers of dynamism between her personalities, whether it is through friendship, family, business or most importantly, love. Moving at a snail's pace from beginning to end, it's easy to get a little despondent when watching Let's Talk About the Rain go over its incessant need to analyse and document the mundane and largely inconsequential moments that these characters share, yet there are also plenty of scenes which carry with them much more finely focused intent. Such moments will usually establish the best parts of these characters through their ultimate bonding either through a smile or even a kiss, and it's here that Jaoui shows her real talent for creating resonating character drama. Unfortunately, with a plot that fails to drive anything forward, an abundance of inconsequential indulgences stops the feature from ever taking off.

The strongest element of this exercise comes in the form of Jaoui and her fellow cast members who all share a nice sense of chemistry between each other, and do just as well on their own too. Jean-Pierre Bacri gets the most chuckles here, playing the bumbling but well-intentioned film-maker who is too often a slave to his eyes and those around him. Jamel Debbouze plays it close to many of his previous works, conveying the rather withdrawn but intelligent and gifted assistant to Bacri. As good as he works with Bacri however, it is his scenes with Florence Loiret (who plays as his love interest outside of a neglected marriage) that serve as key highlights, culminating in a sentimental kiss scene that carries with it an astounding amount of feeling. Jaoui herself is spot on and obviously knows the ins and outs of her character enough to complement those around her and also to give the feature a sense of purpose that is too often lacking from the script. As a whole, the entire cast give flawless performances that do the best with what they are given to work with; which unfortunately isn't that much, but fulfils the purpose that Jaoui seems to striving for.

Despite the many wonderful features of Let's Talk About the Rain however, the film too often falters beneath its own weight. Heavy with character but extremely light on plot, themes or discussion, Jaoui's script too often feels imbalanced the point of stultifying irrelevancy. It's an effort that would have served much fairer on a small screen and limited to half its run time, and as such there's no denying that a lot of what goes on here is shameful navel-gazing for the sake of exercise. Leaving a screening of Let's Talk About the Rain, one is likely to have a feeling of fulfilment, but at the cost of quite a few wasted minutes. Pristine in its development of character and performances, there's a lot to love about Jaoui's latest work, but a lack of focus and point leaves the experience needlessly tiring. Followers of slow, meditative character studies will get a kick out of what is present here, but patience is certainly required and as such all but the most avid of cinephilles would be best to give this one a miss; Jaoui is speaking to a small audience here.

  • A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)



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