24 June 2017 | dbdumonteil
Same meat,different gravy.
Let's call a spade a spade :this is melodrama .Although it's given a "modern" treatment ,it is melodrama.Although Sir Bob Geldof is part of the cast ,this is melodrama .Although the movie desperately tries to sound "rock" ,this is melodrama.Although 25% of the dialog is in English (this quarter stems from the presence of the Boomtown Rats leader who says some lines in French much to his credit),this is melodrama.Although it's based on a renowned intellectual book, this is melodrama.
Melodrama all down the line .From the prologue where a little girl counts in English ,goes home , finds her mom in the bath with another woman ,and runs to her dad tearing....to the ending ,where a little girl picks flowers on the graves in a cemetery and gives them to her (lonely? does history repeat itself?)mom.
Louise's parents did not care that much about her :mom was what the French call a Bobo (Bourgeois Bohème) ,Dad ,a rock star," constantly hopping from airplanes to luxury hotels to concert stages" (Fraghera).And just when Louise is pregnant by her loving boyfriend Pablo ,she learns that her mother has a cancer .The future mommy cannot make up her mind to tell her mom she will become a grandma soon.All people around urge her to do it,and when she does, it will be too late (the best scene is perhaps Louise showing her baby -in-womb radio-graphs to a mom who cannot hear her anymore -like Susan Kohner crying over her mom Juanita Moore's dead body in Sirk's "imitation of life" ,melodrama in all its splendor.)
Do not get me wrong .I do love melodramas,but this one is not thoroughly convincing : how can we believe Louise writes best- sellers when we never see her scribble a single line?Although praised for her over-the -top performance,one can think that Isia Higelin 's diction leaves a little to be desired.One can prefer seasoned Carole Bouquet although the part is not really worthy of her talent.Jacques Weber has a nice supporting part of a doctor who loves rock and cut singles when he was young.Sir Bob Geldof strums on his guitar and sings one or two tunes ,but as Rolling Stone wrote :"though it would be nice to report that his exemplary battle against world hunger inspired a satisfying solo career,such is not the case".The best song of the score does not belong to him ,it's Dick Annegarn 's splendid surrealist "Bruxelles".
"Mauvaise Fille " is same meat,different gravy: all the elements of good old melodrama are present :the little girl left to her own devices, who finds success in life, who sees her mom dying when she 's about to bring a new life to the "planet" (a line in the movie),her resentment,her fear to give birth ,her remorse near the deathbed ...
It's as though the screenwriters suddenly appreciated how humorless it was and attempted to introduce funny lines in the priest's speech in the cemetery.