Actress Camille Cottin and director Eloïse Lang produced one of the surprise French box-office hits of 2015, Harry Me which detailed in documentary-style Cottin’s attempt to marry Britian’s Prince Harry. The team have reunited in Larguées for a more conventional film about love and loss and drafted in veteran actress Miou Miou to add gravity to this lightweight comedy. While the storyline holds no surprises, Cottin, Miou Miou and Camille Chamoux are engaging and funny as the three female members of a dysfunctional family. Cottin’s bawdy, mouthy, Rose, sits in highly amusing contrast to Chamoux’s uptight, hysterical Alice. And Miou Miou plays to perfection the re-awakening of a women in her sixties to love and romance. The script is fast-paced and full of witty one-liners. Cottin is used to playing larger-than-life comic characters and Lang wisely dials this down leaving room for Miou Miou and Chamoux to share the limelight. Not surprisingly in a film which celebrates female solidarity, the adult male characters are little more than targets for Cottin’s cruel humour.
Rose (Cottin) and her sister Alice (Chamoux) decide to take their mother Françoise (Miou Miou) on vacation after she is dumped by their father for a much younger women. Rose is a thirty-something, singleton who has shunned a job and family ties in favour of all-night clubbing and one-night stands. She is the polar opposite of her sister who is a text book, middle-class French mother and wife. Thrown together in an attempt to pull their mother out of her post-separation depression, the siblings struggle to re-connect with their own mother and with each other.
Club Med style holiday camps have often provided fertile ground for comedy films in France, Most notably with Les Bronzés, a cult film directed in 1978 by Patrice Leconte. And comparaisons have been drawn with Lang’s film. Both share a love of farcical, self-parody and, in common with Les Bronzés, Larguées doesn’t aim to be highbrow, sophisticated satire, but it does deliver the laughs.