You don’t have to be a filmmaker or a festival veteran to appreciate Sophie Letourneur’s tale of three women cruising for dudes at Locarno’s annual cinematic shindig, but trust us: It helps immensely. The misadventures of a budding auteur named Sophie Letourneur (played by—wait for it—Sophie Letourneur) and her posse—Carole (Carole Le Page) and Camille (Camille Genaud)—are familiar enough to anyone who’s thrown dignity out the window once the last-call hour comes around. Really, haven’t most of us sucked face with casual acquaintances on the dance floor after too many drinks? Or, you know, stalked Louis Garrel via incessant text messages and gone out of the way to “mistakenly” run into him at VIP dinners, because, like, he’s totally our soulmate?
Graciously, Letourneur gives us only a few minor-league innings of inside baseball instead of a full game. But even as she nails the disassociative, punch-drunk (and literal drunk) rhythms of attending a film fest, there’s something still more than a little insular and precious about this foulmouthed film à clef. Her 2009 movie, the extraordinary La
Vie au Ranch, didn’t dissect twentysomething females à la Girls so much as let audiences observe its characters acting like real young women; this follow-up grafts its heroines’ uncouth behavior onto a weak satire of hedonism and high-school cliquery on the festival circuit yet, crucially, forgets the honesty. Programmers and critics will giggle. Civilians may want to wait for whatever’s screening next.
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