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Embrassez Qui Vous Voudrez (Summer Thing) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/06/2003

OPENS FRIDAY JUNE 20th

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Well-written, well-acted ensemble drama that manages to blend farce and subtle social commentary.

Summer Things (aka ‘Embrassez Qui Vous Voudrez’ or ‘Kiss Whoever You Like!’) is skillfully adapted from a novel by British writer Joseph Connelly. As such, it’s an enjoyable ensemble drama with superb performances all round.

Camping Capers

The various plot strands all hinge around a group of friends who are taking a vacation together. These include Charlotte Rampling’s nouveau riche matriarch, Elizabeth, who seems oblivious to her friend Vero’s (Karin Viard) financial straits.

Meanwhile, single mother Julie (Clothilde Courau) hooks up with a serial womaniser (Vincent Elbaz as Maxime) and ‘lends’ her baby to Vero for the weekend.

Other guests include actor-writer-director Michel Blanc as a jealously obsessive husband keeping close tabs on his beautiful wife Carole Bouquet. And, naturally, there is also a sub-plot about a teenage boy (Gaspard Ulliel) losing his virgnity.

Good Work All Round

The superb cast give great performances and Blanc is careful never to let the occasionally over the top comic elements of the plot (e.g. Maxime ‘forgetting’ he’d left the hotel receptionist tied to his bed) degenerate into out and out farce.

Similarly, the film carefully balances comedy and astute social commentary in the relations between the richer family and their poorer friends.

In short, this is an extremely enjoyable drama and deserves to become an arthouse hit. Recommended.

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Content updated: 21/10/2017 05:54

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