It's about money as a defining characteristic for a personality hence defining the way people deal with love... and life. [Le Coût de la vie] thus tells the stories of four characters, living in Lyon, inside the same narrative circle and with the recurring concern being the relation between their lives, money and love.
On the whole Brett 'the Scrooge' (Luchini) and Coway 'The Generous Anxious guy' (Lindon) are the more elaborate parts. Well it's always difficult to draw up an original depiction for the scrooge type, or to do well with Vincent Lindon, typecast as the troubled husband, but the actors bring the right emotion to the screen in the right moments. In between those adults proceedings you've got the parts of a junior (Isild Le Besco) and a senior (Claude Rich) character, both more anecdotic even after we're told a little more about them in the end.
Skipping from one story to the other brings a good pace right from the start. It creates a lively atmosphere but it also brings about frustration when you just happen to catch a glimpse from one character to jump to something else. It's like you'd end up flying over all those people not really caring for them, just waiting for some funny thing to happen.
Eventually the big flaw with that kind of narration is you never get somewhere. You got in the train with nice people then you get off: it was a nice trip but not an affair to remember. Once and again a case of "Slices of life vs. slices of cake."
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