13 November 2018 | TrTm316
They are sweet... in their own way.
So what, if the plot of Sweet Girls arises from a flawed premise, is carried out by characters whose moral compasses are spinning wildly, and becomes slightly unbelievable? It's still incredibly entertaining! It's funny in some spots, poignant in others, very well acted, and you keep watching because you care what happens next.
Teens Marie and Elodie conclude that the economic dead end facing people their age - and particularly the lack of affordable housing -- is the fault of the older generation, and decide to get rid of the retired pensioners in their apartment block. Not just one or two, either.
Sweet Girls stands out by providing a look into the lives of two incredibly different groups living side-by-side with almost no interaction. Many of the elderly are alone, either abandoned or having outlived their friends, and live quiet lives in solitude remembering the past, while the teens party hard with people they don't really know. But these girls try to do something about the present. A report card would say they show tremendous initiative and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances. The resolution of the story isn't terribly complex, but we do see some character growth without falling into the cloying sweetness of a Hallmark moment.
A coming of age tale runs in parallel with the caper, but it's well integrated and unobtrusive. Some may say that the director "doesn't know what he wants the movie to be." I disagree: the love story adds welcome depth and humanity to the lead characters. On a side note, there is one interesting directoral flourish: the parents and siblings of Marie and Elodie are visible, and they speak their lines... but we never see their faces.
Sweet Girls isn't really a comedy, but it's fun to watch. 7 stars out of 10.