Ghastly. It’s bad form to write-up something you bailed on, but after an hour of punishingly stupid ensemble dramedy, a sort of Gallic BIG CHILL with better wine, forced conviviality, puerile inter-relationships, endless group meals, and bed hopping that only reenforces your most cherished stereotypes of how annoying the French can be on holiday, self-preservation instincts kick in. Can this be the same Guillaume Canet who wrote & directed the superb TELL NO ONE/’06? (Shows how much harder comedy is than suspense.) But enough. (With apologies for even beginning.) The only reason to bother at all is for a WATCH THIS, NOT THAT suggestion. Exactly the idea of Marion Cotillard’s character has when she tosses a bedmate post-sex to watch a DVD of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s soccer comedy/drama/revenge exposé COUP DE TÊTE/’79 with the late, great Patrick Dewaere. Nearly unknown Stateside, this wild ride/tall tale about the French regional soccer leagues is more REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE/’55 or ON THE WATERFRONT/’54 than ROCKY/’56. Though Dewaere himself is closer to, say, William Holden in STALAG 17/’53. With a meager 4 Comments on its IMDb page, it would seem to be a masterpiece waiting discovery. And it’s not as if Annaud & Dewaere are unknown talents. (Hey, Criterion, how ‘bout an ‘Unknown Dewaere’ series?) Canet’s latest disaster, BLOOD TIES/’13, a real career-killing flop, is out on DVD, why not COUP DE TÊTE?
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Only our second title written up after an abbreviated viewing. So, to protect the innocent participants, a visually anonymous poster.