2 February 2002 | Leducdor
A wealthy French widow assuages her guilt by returning to the 'burbs.
This is typical, enjoyable French TV fare. A bit pretentious (as French social tv drama tends to be), but watchable even if as predictable as from which direction the sun will rise. Michèle Morgan stars as Helena Kramp, the haute bourgeoise widow of an architect who was responsible for the design and construction of one of France's innumerable high-rise 'burbs where the poor and dispossessed live in frustration, anger and hopelessness. This one is populated mainly by Algerian Arabs, many of whom are young and without hope or purpose.
To assuage her guilt and to give some meaning to her life, she moves to the 'burb to try and give these youths hope and a chance to escape the crushing boredom of their existence. She succeeds, naturally, although in real-life France a rich white woman who did this might well be murdered and/or worse. The fun in the movie is provided by her butler, an older gay man with a running, acerbic commentary accompanying her actions, although he, too, is eventually seduced by the task at hand, and tutors a young illiterate brute whom he agrees to teach to read and write in return for argotic cursing lessons. These scenes are quite fun. Amusing but shallow entertainment for a rainy afternoon with nothing else to do.