I hated it, but I keep thinking about it. Seems typical of contemporary French cinema with its detestable characters, rampant non sequiturs, and terrible taste in music. But the film's hysterics have an interest of their own, maybe a sort of puppet-show appeal.
There's something so pure and real about French films and the way they tackle real matters, how they portray relationships with such rawness. How they make me laugh and cry. Loved the performances, loved the narrative, loved the cinematography. I know I loved them because I hardly noticed they were there. I felt like I was on vacation with these friends. With this family. Missing Ludo.
Though the film does have much to applaud. A strong cast, all of whom rise to engage with the material as well as a brave observation of difficult material. The film still struggles with moments of melodrama a gimmicks to capture the attention of the viewer. The film rings with notes of false tones that detract from the emotional heft that it could otherwise hold. I liked the process and potential more than the film.
2.5 Could easily have cut this down by 30-45 minutes and nixed the sometimes off-kilter soundtrack of English songs. Would have been better leaving more to the audience's imagination. Instead it became heavy-handed and redundant, like a very long French version of "The Big Chill." Odd seeing Jean Dujardin in a small role. The next year he'd win the Oscar for "The Artist." Marion Cotillard is luminous, as usual.