Hollywood goes to France
“The Big Chill” gets a French spin
Published: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 19:02
Guillaume Canet directs his wife, Marion Cotillard, among many other notable French actors in this French take on the American film, "The Big Chill" from 1983.
In French the title is "Les petits mouchoirs" and in English the film is “Little White Lies.”
Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin of "The Artist" plays Ludo who gets in a motorcycle accident in the start of the movie.
Despite their devastation, his friends go on their annual summer vacation without Ludo and enjoy the Cap Ferret sun and beach.
Ludo’s friends each have their own subplots.
The difference between the French version and the American is that the French version is essentially the story in reverse order.
The film is rather long, running 154 minutes. Fans of "The Big Chill" will recognize an eerily similar sound track in this French take.
For example the song, “The Weight” by The Band is featured in both films.
Director Lawrence Kasdan’s "The Big Chill" was released in 1983 starring Glenn Close, William Hurt, Kevin Kline and many other actors.
After seeing this movie, Canet found that he could create a semi-autobiographical take himself.
In a recent interview Canet said, "I think we are living nowadays in a society where life goes so fast.
"When I spent a couple of weeks in the hospital after a little injury, I found that time in the hospital was a good time—you have nothing else to do—to just lay there and think.
"I’d been working a lot the few years before.
"I started thinking about my family and friends, and I thought also about a friend who I had lost, and how sometimes in your life you can be very selfish.
"You only think about yourself, and your work, and you forget about what’s important.”
Canet said, “When I left the hospital, I went on vacation with some friends.
"Sometimes you have friends for a really long time, and you are changing, or they are changing—they have kids, etc.—and [if you have a problem with them,] you don’t want to tell them what you think because you don’t want to hurt them.
"You prefer to let things go on without really talking about the problems.
"I started thinking about all those little lies you tell yourself or your friends because you don’t want to hurt them or yourself. What happens, though, is that the friendship becomes false.
"I suddenly realized I wanted to make a movie out of all these ideas—and about those little lies."
If you have never been to France, you will certainly feel the need to. The setting of Paris and Southern France, on top of frequent wine and cheese parties are exceptionally encouraging to the budding traveler.
Other cast members in the film are Francois Cluzet, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte, Pascale Arbillot and Joel Dupuch.
Although “The Big Chill” was originally released in 2010 in France during festival season, today it is available in On Demand via Netflix and DVD.