For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Venice 2010. Antony Cordier's "Happy Few"

"Two young married couples who decide to swap partners for sex live to regret it in Happy Few, a story that takes itself far too seriously to be taken seriously by an audience," finds Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter.

"If anything, Happy Few is so adult about the quartet's amassed indiscretions that the dramatic stakes are rendered rather low," finds Guy Lodge at In Contention. "[E]ven as the arrangement begins to sour, one rather wishes the film would lose control just once. Meanwhile, the inveigling of the couples' children into the situation, and the limber sense of family that generates, is a fascinating story angle that too frequently slides out of view. Still, the performances are smart (as you'd expect of an ensemble made up of Élodie Bouchez, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Roschdy Zem and Marina Foïs), the sex is hot (ditto) and even if the French can churn out these bourgeois, tastefully erotic domestic dramas in their sleep, that's not to say that they shouldn't."

"Cordier's fiction debut, Cold Showers, told the story of a working-class teen and judo fanatic who got involved in a three-way with his g.f. and a peer," recalls Boyd van Hoeij in Variety. "In that pic, Cordier and regular co-scripter Julie Peyr neatly used the menage-a-trois construction to further build on and reveal the flawed character, still very much in development, of their protag. But in Happy Few, there is no lead to identify with. And while the film's frequent bed-hopping neatly showcases the thesps' no-problemo attitude toward nudity, it does far too little to further the story or offer psychological insight into any of the characters."

"Swapping sex partners turns into swapping lives," writes Camillo de Marco at Cineuropa. "The situation gets complicated. Cordier is convinced that we can love two people at the same time. But he also knows that the price can be too high to pay."

In a dispatch to indieWIRE, Shane Danielsen is underwhelmed: "A textbook example of a film that wanted to have it both ways — if you'll excuse the expression — it titillated with some reasonably explicit sex scenes (including one flour-covered four-way, which frankly just looked uncomfortable), only to subsequently condemn its characters for their reckless immorality, sentencing them to lives of hollow misery forever and ever after, amen."


Coverage of the coverage: Venice 2010. For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow The Daily Notebook on Twitter and/or the RSS feed.

“Two young married couples who decide to swap partners for sex live to regret it…” I read this and my first thought was, Hey, someone finally made a movie about my parents.

Please to add a new comment.

Latest News