Sunday, April 27, 2014

Les Beaux Jours

Many people criticize the French for being pretentious, arrogant and even downright rude, but there is no question that when it comes to the topic of l’amour, passion flows freely through their veins.

If you have ever watched Showcase’s “Friday's Without Borders” in which almost every tale has an element of eroticism and sensuality that pushes the limits, Les Beaux Jours, directed by Marion Vernoux, takes you on a journey that goes one step further, examining the complexities of life.

Caroline, played by Fanny Ardant, is a 60 year old retired dentist, who can’t seem to find a place for herself. The devastation of losing her best friend seems to preoccupy her thoughts and retirement seems more like a death sentence than freedom. With much concern, her daughters decide to giver her a birthday gift for a membership to the “Beaux Jours” Senior Club.

Feeling completely out of her element, but willing to give it a shot, Caroline decides to try her hand, (and soon enough other body parts) at some interesting activities, one specifically involving a young and sexy philanderer computer instructor named Julian, played by Laurent Lafitte. Stuck in what seems to be a stagnant marriage with Philippe, played by Patrick Chesnais, Caroline embraces the affair with gusto, sneaking away for late night rendezvous, and liberating herself in the arms of Julian. As their intimacy intensifies and she plans a spontaneous getaway together, Caroline begins to question whether her known infidelity may cost her much more than she imagined.

The love affair between Caroline and Julian is hot and steamy, there’s no two ways about it. Although there is no explicit nudity in the film, there is enough sensual scenes to make your heart beat a little faster, okay a lot faster. The cinematography is quite beautiful too, especially the glimpses of Caroline walking along the beach from afar. She reminds me of a young Marilyn Monroe.

Excellent acting all around and dialogue is equally as engaging as between the sheets, as it is out of the bedroom. The movie is introspective on many levels and conveys a powerful message. It shows us that exploration is sought during all stages of life and our curiosity never ends. Instead of feeling lost, there is a whole world out there and in our greying years, we just have to push a little harder to feel young at heart again.