Dir.: Blandine Lenoir; Cast: Agnes Jaoui, Sarah Suco, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Pascale Arbillot, Thibault Montalembert; France 2017, 89 min.
French cinema continues to cock a snoot at the popular myth that cinematic love affairs end in middle age with this typical Gallic story centred around 50 year old Aurore, whose daughters leave the nest, only to return, and whose best friend is a raving feminist. Aurore’s answer to all this is to go for broke and re-connect with the love of her life, after her husband leaves her in the lurch. I GOT LIFE is a deft mixture of comedy, farce and feminism. The characters are stronger than the uneven plot, with an episodical structure not helping this rather lightweight affair, despite some great comedy turns. Agnes Jaoui is particularly good as the menopausal mid-lifer whose attempts at getting back on the career ladder have been scuppered by her husband clearing off – and taking with him her unpaid job as his administrator. A job in a bar turns out to be a disaster: the owner insisting on calling her Samantha, “because it’s more sexy”. A string of disasters happen, one after the other. First of all her oldest daughter Marina (Suco) tells her that she is pregnant (“you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did” Aurore mumbles – making herself about as popular as Marina’s expanding girth). Then her youngest daughter Lucie (Roy-Lecollinet) decides to decamp to Barcelona with her boyfriend, abandoning her studies. And being with best girlfriend Mano (Arbillot) is not always fun either: Aurore has has agreed to help Mano sell flats by pretending to be an interested client in a bid to attract some real applicants. But when events spiral out of control Aurore settles for the charms of her first love Totuche (Montalembert), her first love, who turns up like a bad penny – as Marina’s gynaecologist doctor. And although Totuche is reluctant to play romantic ball second time around, it all pans out well in this watchable romcom, photographed by Robert Guediguian regular Pierre Milon (The House by the Sea). Sadly, the jokes are very much hit and miss. AS
ON RELEASE FROM 23 MARCH 2018