Here's a lush, breezy short film that shows what happens when every single aspect of life receives "the French touch." That means "eau de toilette" and croissants in the morning, quirky threesomes in the afternoon and art films at night. As someone who lives in Paris, I was amused by how many cliches about the French are still relatively true, even when pushed to this extreme. The only thing I'd respectfully disagree with is the part where the lead character goes to the gym. French women generally prefer cigarettes and small portions to maintain their figure, and there are barely any gyms in Paris.
Still, it all sounds romantic, right? Well, It is... to a point. But, as C'est La Vie
slowly reveals, even the most alluring clichés can start to feel as monotonous as every day life when they're piled on so relentlessly.
That's the message I took from it, anyway. But according to the director Simone Rovellini, my reading is besides the point. Quoth Rovellini, "Movies usually tend to tell a story, pursue an idea, or express emotions. C'est La Vie
just aims at taking up a challenge: using as many French words as possible to describe the bizarre habits of a girl named Henriette. And if at the end of the narration you'll find a moral lesson, well, that's going to be a total coincidence."
Meaning or not, the film is certainly the result of considerable passion and dedication from a crew of France-obsessed Italians. It took almost two years of weekend filming in nearly 30 different locations to bring the 5 minute anti-parable to life! And anyway, with sly humor, stylish photography and music that would make Amélie Poulain gush, who needs a "moral lesson"?
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