As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another's pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.
Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.
Alexandre de La Patellière,
An accidental discovery near a doctor's estate stirs up some painful memories eight years after his wife's hideous murder, and now, things are bound to take a turn for the unexpected. Does the good doctor know more than he's letting on?
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Every year, Max, a successful restaurant owner, and Véro, his eco-friendly wife invite a merry group of friends to their beautiful beach house to celebrate Antoine's birthday and kick-start the vacation. But, this year, before they all leave Paris, their buddy Ludo is hurt in a serious accident, which sets off a dramatic chain of reactions and emotional responses. The eagerly anticipated vacation leads each of the protagonists to raise the little veils that for years they have draped over what bothers and upsets them. Pretenses become increasingly hard to keep up. Until the moment when the truth finally catches up with them all...Written by
The Film Catalogue
The French title "Les Petits Mouchoirs" refers to an idiomatic expression that is similar to the English term "Sweeping something under the rug". You cover something up with a napkin or a handkerchief and pretend it's no longer there even though everyone knows it is. The English term "Little White Lies" is a similar if not identical concept. See more »
Eric sends a text message to Marie's cell phone to call him back urgently, while he is in the restaurant with the blonde actress. Marie's cell phone beeps when receiving this text message, but when Marie opens the text message, the cell phone's display shows that it is set on mute ("silencieux"). See more »
Guillaume Canet does his best Arnaud Desplechin impression to mixed results. The film centers on a simple plot (a group of longtime friends going on their yearly beach vacation together) with a slight twist (they leave a member of the group in the hospital to go). Canet (who wrote and directed) crafts a character piece, delving into the lies that these people tell each other and themselves, and then slowly picks at the facade until it all comes out in the open. It's a pretty standard premise, but the actors here really make the film shine. Every one of them has at least one moment to impress and the majority of the extended cast make good use of them.
Francois Cluzet is excellent as the patriarch of the group, constantly in a state of distress over having to bury a secret that he's uncomfortable with. Benoit Magimel shines as a family man who is struggling with his sexuality. Gilles Lellouche is perfectly cast as the man-child with a heart of gold. It's no surprise that the one who shines brightest is Marion Cotillard, given the role of the woman who is caught in a state of despair, not really knowing what she wants in life. Unfortunately, Canet is incapable of creating characters with a real sense of depth to them. Even the main ones that we delve into only really have one thing that we barrel in on, and the female characters (aside from Cotillard's) are almost insultingly thin.
The film pretty much focuses on the men and Cotillard, leaving the other women as these shells of characters that Canet refuses to dig into, despite the extensive 150 minute running time. You'd think that with a running time that long, he could have created characters much more complex than the ones we received. The film all boils up to a conclusion that is a very easy and obvious attempt at trying to get some emotion out of the audience, incredibly disappointing in it's predictability. Overall, this isn't a bad film; it's entertaining to watch and the actors are able to get some fine emotional moments out of it. But really it's a case of a great cast being able to overcome the ineptitude of it's writer and director.
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