Eight years have passed since the events of Little Secrets. Max Cantara (Francois Cluzet) arrives all alone at his house in Cap Ferret, Bordeaux, and it turns out that he has put the house up for sale. This indicates that something has deteriorated sharply in Max in this life: he built this house himself, he loves this place very much and the fact of the sale means that Max has huge problems.
And yes, it is. Max is burned out. It happens. He contacted a shady investment company, which turned out to be a financial pyramid, after which Max lost everything: his restaurant, and now this house also has to be sold. With his wife Veronique (Valerie Bonneton) Max has long been divorced, he lives with his girlfriend Sabina (Clementine Baer), who is currently in Paris.
The next day after Max’s arrival, there is a sudden knock at the gate, Max opens the door and with wild surprise sees the whole old company in its entirety: Eric (Gilles Lellouche), with whom they had a big quarrel eight years ago, Vincent (Benoit Magimel) with his current partner Alex (Michael Wattincourt), ex-wife Isabelle (Pascal Arbillo) and son, Marie (Marion Cotillard) with her son, Anthony (Laurent Lafitte) in splendid isolation and girlfriend of Max Sabin.
Max is not very politely interested in why the hell they all showed up here after so many years of broken relationships, especially since he clearly said that he wants to be alone, and the company explains to him that they came to support an old friend and celebrate his sixtieth birthday, which should come day after tomorrow. And they all arrived for a short time – for a week.
Max is completely at a loss and does not know what to do. Buyers of the house should come to him tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, he did not tell Sabina anything about his financial affairs. Max shares the secret with Eric, and he says that he has rented a hefty house on the very coast for the whole company nearby, where they can move in tomorrow. And Max very much asks Eric not to tell anyone about his problems, and they pretend that it was Max who rented a house on the coast.
The film “Little Secrets” made a splash in France: excellent fees, won “Cesar” for the best film, two nominations for “Cesar”, a nomination for the Audience Award for the best film of the European Film Academy. The film was really very, very good, although there seemed to be nothing special there: just a group of old friends vacationing on the coast, while all members of the company have their own psychological and other problems.
After the success of this film, Guillaume Canet received an invitation to work in Hollywood: in 2013 he directed the film “Blood Ties” there with Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, his wife Marion Cotillard and Mila Kunis. Interestingly, this is a remake of the 2008 French film of the same name, which was directed by Jacques Maillot, and Guillaume Canet played one of the main roles along with Francois Cluzet.
The American film failed with absolutely the wildest crash ($25,000 (!) box office in America with a $25 million budget).
After that, Canet decided to return to comedy and made a very strange film “Forever Young”, which began as a tragicomedy about a midlife crisis, and then it was carried away into some kind of perfect psychedelic. It rolled very poorly, but at the same time Guillaume Canet was nominated for some reason for the “Cesar” for best male role.
Well, then Kane realized that it was time to play the old card that had already won once – to make a continuation of “Little Secrets”. He wrote the script for the first film himself, and Canet wrote the script for the sequel with Forever Young screenwriter Rodolphe Loga. The original title of the sequel is We’ll Stay Together.
What did he get? The beginning of the new film was somewhat disappointing and somehow strained – purely on the script. And really, why the hell did this whole company show up to Max when they, having quarreled heavily eight years ago, did not really communicate after that? Ah, no one called us, but we flew an hour from Paris to Bordeaux to celebrate your sixtieth birthday, dear Max. At the same time, dear Max makes it clear that the whole company can go to hell, and they really do not understand what to do with all this now.
However, after that, the plot somehow taxis in the direction of a villa on the shores of the Bay of Biscay, shot by Eric, after which for some time everything sways rather sluggishly, well, somewhere in the second half the picture finally picks up a good pace, and then it it’s already really interesting to watch, otherwise, to be honest, after watching the first hour, I already thought that everything is bad here and it’s time to tie it up.
How have the members of the company changed? Max, as he was a choleric, remained the same, while if he used to be a very rich choleric and, like, reproached the rest of the company members with his good deeds, now he is bankrupt, depressed, but at the same time retains his pride (this is a mortal sin, I note) and asks Eric to tell everyone that it was he, Max, who again took care of everyone. Interesting character development, shown by François Cluzet with undeniable skill.
Eric has changed a lot since then. Then he was not a very successful actor, a kind of charming gouging and a womanizer, but now he, apparently, has become a successful and very well-to-do director (I can roughly imagine how much it costs to rent such a villa for such a company on the shore of the bay for a week), and he arrived with his ten-month-old daughter and a round-the-clock nurse for her: the nurse is a kind of Mary Poppins with despotic inclinations, and Eric bickers with her in a very funny way.
Gilles Lellouche is a wonderful actor: even then he played Eric perfectly, and his current, new, Eric was very, very good. In the last film, he had a wonderful scene with the character Marion Cotillard, when Eric was wondering why they never slept with her, and in this film there was a great scene when Eric tries to put wedges on Marie – everything is very touching, very neat and very French, it’s just the decoration of the film. (I express my own opinion only.)
Marion Cotillard is a wonderful actress. Here, her character was somewhat changed: Marie, unlike the first film, is kind of nervous, twitchy, constantly swears and gets drunk every day. However, closer to the second half of the picture, she gradually becomes the same Marie from the first film, and here she has two wonderful scenes with Eric – in the boat and in the second scene that I mentioned above.
Vincent’s ex-wife Isabelle has changed a lot. After a divorce from her husband, she became a spectacular lady, in whom men show interest, and Vincent himself, quite unexpectedly, suddenly found out that his ex-wife was very interesting to him. Pascal Arbiyo as Isabelle – very good, I liked it.
Vincent – Benoît Magimel – got really pissed off, and his romance with this Alex, to be honest, somehow left me indifferent. Well, I didn’t have an affair with the Alexs, so I don’t know how they feel about it. And his search for mutual understanding with his son was removed in such a dotted line that it was not worth even trying – he was not impressed even once. But the sudden renaissance with his wife – it was quite funny.
Valerie Bonneton, who played Max’s ex-wife Veronica, had a great time in the scene of meeting the neighbor’s restaurateur Alan: her looks in the morning were very eloquent.
Anthony, as he was enfant terrible, remained the same: funny, stupid, jokes very stupidly and constantly gets into different stupid situations (sometimes deadly). There is a funny story about his relationship with Eric: he took Anthony as an assistant, pays him money to keep the guy afloat, while everyone condemns Eric for his old friend working as an assistant. And with that, there’s a great scene at the end.
In the end, after watching the whole picture – in general, I liked it. Not like the first film, which was much more solid, poignant and intimate. But in the sequel, Canet still managed to finally taxi to a pretty decently filmed drama and a certain feeling of the first film – but only in the second half.
The first half remained long and drawn out. And this is the director’s problem – it was necessary to mount it all in a different way.
But the other half reconciled me with this film: it was not in vain shot and I did not watch it in vain. Nothing outstanding, but thank God it doesn’t suck. You can watch without the backstory of the characters, although it is not necessary, and with the backstory you understand that you can not film it, but the way it was filmed, it still makes sense. No surprises, but I liked it anyway. Kane tried to find something for the first half, but he managed to do it only from the second half, when it became really good and dramatic.
Little White Lies 2 movie meaning / Nous finirons ensemble
Directed by: Guillaume Canet Cast: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Benoît Magimel, Marion Cotillard, Jose Garcia, François Cluzet, Valerie Bonneton, Laurent Lafitte, Pascal Arbillot, Joel Dupuche, Clementine Baer, Mikael Wattincourt, Tatiana Goosseff
Tragicomedy, France-Belgium, 2019, 135 min.