Current Issue #488

Film Review:
We'll End Up Together

Guillaume Canet’s longtime-coming sequel to his Little White Lies (Les Petits Mouchoirs) (2010) is another all-star, overlong comedic drama with a fine cast seeing you past the very French contrivance – or almost.

The title’s misleading: yes, the original French is Nous Finirons Ensemble (or, basically, We’ll End Up Together), but really it should be Little White Lies 2 so that film française fanatics know that they’re seeing a sequel.

Can this second film be wholly understood without catching Part 1? Well… non.

Writer, director and sometimes actor Canet’s epic has Max (François Cluzet) nearing his 60th birthday, alone, broke and miserable, and after he’s introduced to the tune of Van Morrison and Them’s version of Bob Dylan’s It All Over Now Baby Blue, he’s unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of his gang of old friends, none of whom realise how serious his situation is.

In the original, the pals gathered in the wake of a terrible accident suffered by Ludo (Jean Dujardin, who might – or might not – turn up here too), but now they’ve got together assuming that it’s for a more positive reason. And they’re quite a bunch: there’s latecomer Marie (Marion Cotillard), who now has a young son named Nino (scene-stealing little Ilan Debrabant); coddled actor Eric (Gilles Lellouche), with a baby daughter mostly cared for by a stern ‘nounou’ (Tatiana Gousseff); Vincent (Benoît Magimel), who’s properly ‘come out’ and is accompanied by his partner Alex (Mikaël Wattincourt); ageing goofball Antoine (Laurent Lafitte); the sketchy Isabelle (Pascale Arbillot); and others, including a clutch of surly teenagers.

Max evasively moves the group from his soon-to-be-sold beach house to a pricey seaside villa, and there everyone sets about doing exactly what you’d expect: sitting around, chatting, drinking wine, agonising about messy relationships and getting old, and variously turning on each other, as too many souls are bared and neuroses flaunted. Naturally, watching name players like Cluzet and Cotillard do this is enjoyable enough, but at 134 minutes (compared to the first film’s 154), it’s hard not to eventually wish they’d all do something more interesting. Or belt up.

Those averse to such oh-so-French plotting are advised to stay well away or, perhaps, get their own collection of chums together in their own backyard and set about drinking and arguing. It should be slightly more fun, and cheaper too.

Reviewer Rating

We’ll End Up Together (M)is in cinemas now

DM Bradley

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