Meg, a teacher, and husband Nick, a philosophy lecturer who may just be about to get the push on the eve of retirement, spend a week-end in Paris to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary. He is staid, annoying his foul-mouthed wife who wants to turn the holiday into a series of exciting new experiences, booking into a hotel that stretches their budgets and running off from a restaurant without paying. She is also averse to his touching her and what was meant to be a belated second honeymoon is a depressing affair, full of arguments - including one about the son who has recently left home to live in squalor and whom Meg does not want to return. By chance they meet an old university friend of Nick, Morgan, an American high-flyer who invites them to a party where Meg can still turn men's heads and Nick has a conversation with Morgan's young son, leading him to believe that he is not as badly off as he had presumed. Ultimately there appears to be hope for the marriage.Written by
don @ minifie-1
The premise of this piece should send a shudder into viewers. In fact it is handled quite well given the nature of the material, which, as some reviewers are aggrieved about, is not a bourgeois English experience of utter predictability.
It breaks the stereotype in two ways. It's a bitter experience for the two leads after years of marriage and still finding they care for each other through the layers of boredom. That friction adds something interesting, not great, but not entirely stale. The leads carry it well.
It also poaches some ideas from Godard's "Band a part" (The Outsiders). Well, so did Tarantino, and more obviously, but this is quote as the ending sequence makes plain as the man characters do the Madison from that film of the nouvelle vague.
It's a baby boomer experience to never grow old and Lindsay Duncan as Anna Karina, or Jim Broadbent as Sami Frey make a jarring, though amusing, nod to another time; a time which Anglo-Saxon audiences return again in French cinema.
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