26 January 2014 | pjl-7
Formulaic but funny
This is a tried and tested formula. Take three characters of the same sex, put them into a situation where they have to interact for an extended period under stressful circumstances, and then explore the relationships that develop. The formula however tends to lend itself to rapid degeneration into either the ridiculous, if it is being milked for laughs, or the melodramatic if it is played for drama. It is much to the credit of all concerned that Thelma, Louise et Chantal manages to avoid both traps and turn in a pleasant evening's entertainment.
Plenty of laughs - including some great subtle plays on words and misunderstandings. A tiny bit of slapstick. Some bathos for seasoning. And a plot development that is entirely believable from start to finish, even including the running gag of the frozen dog corpse.
Believable characters, too. As the film progresses, each of the women is forced to drop her walls of pretense, face up to her own shortcomings, and become open and honest with her traveling companions. If some of the bit parts seem two dimensional, this is almost inevitable given the size of their roles, and only serves to add body to the three middle aged women who are the focus of our attention.
I've complained before about the sound quality of French films. It appears that the studios have, at long last, learned how to process their sound tracks properly, because in this film I found nothing to criticize - interior, exterior and "in car" sound recordings were all crystal clear and intelligible. Finally!
Enjoy it. It was fun.