Opening 15 Aug 2013
Writing credits: Maud Ameline, Noémie Lvovsky, Pierre-Olivier Mattei, Florence Seyvos
Principal actors: Noémie Lvovsky, Samir Guesmi, Judith Chemla, India Hair, Julia Faure
Noemi Lvovsky not only wrote and directed this delightful French comedy, but also gives a vivacious performance in the leading role as ‘Camille’, a 40-year-old woman, who – after a boozy New Year’s Eve party – wakes up 25 years earlier, in 1985. The life she (temporarily) leaves behind is in crisis. Her acting career has not been going well, her husband left her after 25 years and her grown daughter naturally lives her own life. Therefore – not surprisingly – she doesn’t waste much time being confused, and happily settles back into being 15 again; this time around with the helpful insights of a 40-year-old. Knowing the pain that is awaiting her 25 years later, one of the things she definitely wants to do differently this time, is not to get involved with her future husband (Samir Guesmi). Out of their strong attraction and her ‘yes, I want you – no, I don’t” develops this ‘tango’ between them that is a lot of fun to watch. Lvovsky opted to play both parts: 40-year-old and 15-year-old Camille, and deliberately always looks 40, though she blends in with her girlfriends by wearing the same teenage fashion. It works surprisingly well and is a subtle reminder that this is always the very same Camille with 40 years worth of life experience.
This film is an entertaining reflection on ‘fate’, as well as on the ‘serenity prayer’ – quoted in the film – “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference”. (Carola A)
A burned-out actress is reduced to taking small parts, such as one where she slits her throat. The opening scene in this film says it all. Camille’s (Noémie Lvovsky) life is falling apart as they pump fake blood into her neck which then senselessly flows out again. The love of her life (Samir Guesmi) is walking out on her and selling their apartment. Her daughter is all grown up and she is there sipping hard alcohol in order to soothe her misery. During a New Year’s Eve party she throws out her ring into the snow and then faints. Upon waking up, she realizes that she has gone back to her high school years where she met her husband, found her career and enjoyed teenage conversations with her best friends.
The film is nothing new and is filled with clichés, e.g., as an adult, she tries to play the part of a teenager but has the wisdom of her future. What is wonderful about this film is that the entire cast does a great job, and it is a fun film for teenagers and women going through their midlife crisis. The main actress wears colorful, young-looking clothes and actually looks good in them, making us all want to retain that youthful spirit. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)