Unrated (adult themes); 154 min.
In Little White Lies, writer-director Guillaume Canet maintains audience interest for 154 minutes, with little drama and a plot that's more like a situation than a story.
Things get off to a rollicking start. Jean Dujardin is seen in a Paris nightclub, kissing women and snorting cocaine. Then he gets on his motorcycle and gets hit by a truck. He spends the rest of the movie in a hospital, while his best friends go off to their annual vacation in the south of France.
Think of Little White Lies as a French The Big Chill, only with a warm body, not a cold one, weighing on the collective conscience. The group, a mix of men and women, single and married, best friends forever, are in their 30s and 40s and are all under stress. Marion Cotillard (in real life, the partner of the director) plays a bisexual woman whose relationships always implode. Francois Cluzet is a rich guy with an anger problem. Benoit Magimel plays a married man who might be gay, etc.
From moment to moment, Little White Lies is always watchable, always reasonably rewarding. It's just that two-and-a-half hours seems too big an investment for just pretty good.
In French with English subtitles.
Exclusive: Landmark Magnolia, Dallas
-- Mick LaSalle,
San Francisco Chronicle