The Sweet Escape

2015 [FRENCH]

Comedy / Drama

IMDb Rating 6.5 10 1466

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April 14, 2022 at 06:30 PM


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by writers_reign 7 / 10

Can I Canoe You Up The River ...

If pure entertainment on the gentle side is your thing then this is for you. Writer-director Bruno Podalydes has given himself a very likable leading character and, a la Woody Allen two very lovely leading ladies but possibly because he's more mature than Allen the ladies are Sandrine Kiberlain and Agnes Jaoui either of whom I would elope with in a heartbeat. Such is the esteem in which Podalydes is held in the French industry he had (presumably) no trouble in persuading the likes of Pierre Arditi and Noemie Lvovsky to sign up for cameos and if that were not enough brother Denis is also on hand. There's not a lot to the storyline and in one sense therein lies its charm. In what is perhaps best described as a rehearsal for a mid-life crisis Podaydes embarks on a leisurely journey via a newly acquired kayak plus all the trimmings - tent, primus, etc - where he encounters and enjoys a brief fling with Jaoui and returns to spouse Kiberlain. Probably lacks sufficient oomph for a wide release. A great pity.

Reviewed by imseeg 8 / 10

Playful, heartwarming, tranquil. Subtle, comical French portrait of a man who dreams of far away places while his good fortune lies just around the bend...

Only the French can make such lovely, exquisit, subtle portraits with a wink. Beautifully photographed, acted with lots of subtle wit, written with magnificent mastery of human characters. One heck of a sweet portrait of a man who dreams of far away places while his good fortune lies just around the bend.

This story is about a middle aged man, who has a nice job, a lovely wife, who is dreaming of far away journeys by himself. Alone in the wilderness, that idea. He decides to buy a kajak and to make a journey through nature. Although the man is such a newbie at steering a kajak that he gets stuck just around the first bend of the river. No problem, because there just happens to be a nice small cafe situated, with some attractive women he becomes so fond of he is not very eager to continue his journey at all.

Formiddable portrait of human characteristics. Lovely, comical and playful. Highly recommended for all those who love to daydream, but never really want to realize their dreams... Especially if there's a cafe with lovely women around the corner...

Reviewed by sally_edsall 6 / 10

Another male fantasy rom-com

I saw this at the 2016 French Film Festival in Sydney.

There seems to be an endless supply of "middle-aged male fantasy / crisis" dramedy rom-coms churning out of France at the moment. They feature top-notch actors and gorgeous locations. This is one of them.

My theory is that what Anglosaxon and other men think (that their midlife 'need to find myself crisis' will be solved with a bit of dick action), French male filmmakers put on the big screen, to often charming effect. This is one of them.

The modern twist is that there is usually a sense of agency on the part of the women, so they are not necessarily victims. This is one of those films. In this it appears that the wife is also having an affair (this is revealed in the last part of the film).

I am not a French woman, but I wonder whether French women REALLY can move on so quickly and treat the brief encounter as just that - an uninvolving encounter?

The central character's marriage is long-standing, loving, and has reached a rather boring and humdrum stage, just like many marriages. Many people have affairs and fantasies at that stage. Its depiction in English-language films is usually a traumatic experience. In this genre of french films it is all matter-of-fact. Is this a true representation of French attitudes and culture. I am not condemning, just wondering.

The film is diverting for a couple of hours and has made me think about French mores and representation in cinema.

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