Pin It Share on Tumblr


Little White Lies Movie Review

Posted by bsimon On August - 28 - 2012 0 Comment

Title: Little White Lies

Director: Guillaume Canet

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Francois Cluzet, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte, Jean Dujardin, Valerie Bonneton, Pascale Arbillot

Finally arriving in American theaters almost two years after its Toronto Film Festival premiere, generational ensemble dramedy “Little White Lies,” from French filmmaker Guillaume Canet, proves itself a bloated, melodramatic and ultimately emotionally impenetrable affair. Centering around a collection of close-knit Parisian friends whose bonds are tested over the course of a summer holiday when one of their group is involved in a horrible automobile accident, the movie feels a bit like a French-flavored all-star tribute to Lawrence Kasdan, given the roster of notable performers, but its insights are meager and its whimsy too fleeting.

Leaving a nightclub in the wee hours of the morning on his motorcycle, Ludovic (Jean Dujardin) is struck by a truck. Coming to Ludovic’s side are his ex-girlfriend Marie (Marion Cotillard), a free-spirited anthropologist; hotelier Max (Francois Cluzet), beset by obsessive compulsions; general practitioner Vincent (Benoit Magimel), frustrated by a confusing new attraction; actor and womanizer Eric (Gilles Lellouche); and the neurotic and newly single Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), among others. While Ludo stays holed up in the hospital, his friends embark upon a shortened version of their big planned summer getaway. Revealed secrets and various tensions bubble to the surface, however, threatening to disrupt long-standing relationships.

If the free-floating narrative structure didn’t do so already, the soundtrack selections here (the movie opens with Jet, in what might best be described as an aural cautionary marker, and then works its way through nostalgic hits from the Isley Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Nina Simone and others) mark “Little White Lies” as a Gallic stab at generational mid-life statement, a la “The Big Chill.” The problem here is that almost all the characters are so dislikable and/or emotionally stunted as to defy any sense of audience attachment. The swollen running time (154 minutes) certainly doesn’t help either — especially since “Little White Lies” doesn’t so much build toward revelation and character-revealing clarity as much as wallow in misanthropic set pieces. Individually these can be quite interesting, but taken in sum they prove a chore, and a deadly bore.

Canet, the writer-director of “Tell No One,” works best when laboring under more constraints, or with a tighter editorial focus. Here, he mostly squanders a cast full of French faces who have given breakthrough performances in movies big and small over the last several years — Cotillard in “Inception,” Cluzet in the international mega-hit “The Intouchables,” Dujardin in the Oscar-winning “The Artist,” and Lellouche in “Point Blank” and “Mesrine.” There’s a loose-limbed, jocular and moderately engaging vibe to many of their interactions, but moments both large and small ring false, undone by Canet’s indulgence of overplayed emotion.

Technical: C+

Acting: B-

Story: D+

Overall: C-

Written by: Brent Simon

Little White Lies Movie

Processing your request, Please wait....

Do you like this story?

Create an email alert for Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Shockya on Facebook


Latest Movie Reviews

A Tale of Love And Darkness Movie Review

A Tale of Love And Darkness Mo

Title: A Tale of Love And Darkness Director: Natalie Portman Starring: Natalie Portman, Gilad Kahana, Amir Tessler, ...

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

Title: Imperium Director: Daniel Ragussis Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette, Tracy Letts, Nestor Carbonell and Sam Trammell. ‘Imperium’ ...


Imperium Movie Review

IMPERIUM Lionsgate Premiere/Grindstone Entertainment Group Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: C Director:  Daniel Ragussis Written by: Daniel Ragussis from ...


A Tale of Love and Darkness Mo

A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS Focus World Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: C+ Director:  Natalie Portman Written by: ...


LO AND BEHOLD: Reveries of the

LO AND BEHOLD: Reveries of the Connected World Magnolia Pictures Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: B+ Director:  Werner ...