Little White Lies Reviews
"Little White Lies" has a couple of early moments of sheer gay panic from which it never quite recovers over its epic length. In fact, one such turns into a running joke over the length of the film. Otherwise, this resembles nothing more than a banal three episodes of a dramedy television series. And as much fun as it is to watch the likes of Francois Cluzet and Marion Cotillard act, this hardly makes up for any of that.
That's probably because you are not in good company. Basically, we're talking about a group of self-involved characters with boundary issues. But they are not responsible for taking care of Ludo for which they are called out on.(I mean, does he have any family, a friendly drug dealer, a prostitute with a heart of gold or any other cliche to take care of him?) In any case, I don't know what these chracters have in common as they come from different classes and ages. For example, who brings their massage therapist on vacation unless it is for sex?
This film is a modern French version of The Big Chill. One can even draw one-to-one comparisons between the characters: Francois Cluzet's character = Kevin Kline's character, Jean Dujardin's character = Kevin Costner's character, Marion Cotillard's character = a combination of Meg Tilly's and Mary Kay Place's characters. It even has many of the same songs. It's okay to imitate, especially when a film is imitating one of the best, and The Big Chill is a superior film. But there are two important aspects of comparison that I consider relevant to evaluating Little White Lies. First, The Big Chill's characters could be reduced to types, but by the end of the film, the individual qualities of these character cause them to rise above the cliche type: the philosophical justifications behind Jeff Goldblum's character make him more interesting than the horny guy type. The same is true with Little White Lies; the scene outside Lea's apartment in Paris makes Gilles Lillouche's character more interesting than his horny guy type. This is where the French version succeeds, but The Big Chill, in addition to being an interesting film in itself, it's also a cultural critique, capturing the ennui and disappointment and failures of the Baby Boomer generation. It may be that Little White Lies makes a similar cultural critique for French audiences, but it doesn't translate, and including the sixties nostalgia songs that graced The Big Chill only serves to muddy the film's message.
Overall, this is a strong film with excellent performances and esprit de corps, but the film's larger context makes it less than its idols.