Review: ‘Thirtyfive Something’

"Thirtyfive Something" looks at contempo relations between the sexes with bountiful humor and a direct, airy style. Modest but entertaining pic has the potential to elicit yucks wherever people in the title age bracket are trying to balance their work lives and sex lives. Debut by scripter-helmer Cecile Telerman opened in France March 16.

A thoroughly enjoyable comedy about a femme trio of best friends, “Thirtyfive Something” looks at contempo relations between the sexes with bountiful humor and a direct, airy style. Modest but entertaining pic has the potential to elicit yucks wherever people in the title age bracket are trying to balance their work lives and sex lives. Debut by scripter-helmer Cecile Telerman opened in France March 16 to encouraging biz.

Well-cast venture hands popular thesp Mathilde Seigner all the best lines as Juliette, an acid-tongued wisecracking single lawyer whose inability to suffer fools gladly is outdone only by her questionable taste in men. Thanks to an impressive knack for rationaliza-tion, her interactions with her banker, Simon (Pascal Elbe), are a high point, as she digs herself ever deeper into debt.

Juliette’s two best galpals are married. Marie (Judith Godreche), a public health service doctor, has been wed for 15 happy years to Pierre (Mathias Mlekuz), a painter who has yet to sell a single canvas. They have two kids and live in a modest ‘burb outside Paris.

Florence (Anne Parillaud) has one son and works at an ad agency where the staff refers to their trendy boss as “Caligula” (Pascal Elso). Mild-mannered and pampered Florence’s handsome husband Julien (Thierry Neuvic) works long hours running a finance firm. They live in a luxurious Paris apartment.

Each of the three broad templates leave room for protags to question whether they should be satisfied or getting more out of life.

Although completely European, pic boasts an almost Hollywood-style approach to its characters, in that they face obstacles and grow and change accordingly.

Telerman employs an unfussy straightforward style that lets thesps and snappy dialogue shine.

Thirtyfive Something

France - Belgium

Production

A Diaphana Distribution release (in France) of a La Mouche du Coche Films, Les Films de la Greluche (France)/ Saga Film (Belgium) production. (Interna-tional sales: TF1 Intl., Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.) Produced by Yann Gilbert, Cecile Telerman. Directed by Cecile Telerman. Screenplay, Jerome Soubeyrand, Telerman.

Crew

Camera (color), Mathieu Poirot-Delpech; editor, Marie Castro; music, Adrien Blaise; production designer, Andre Fonsny; costume designer, Caroline de Vivaise; sound (Dolby), Jean-Luc Audy, Thierry Lebon; assistant director, Isabelle Henry; casting, Sylvie Peyrucq. Reviewed at Elysees Biarritz, Paris, Jan. 22, 2005. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Mathilde Seigner, Anne Parillaud, Judith Godreche, Pascal Elbe, Thierry Neuvic, Mathias Mlekuz, Pierre Cassignard, Pascal Elso, Marc Citti, Bernard Yerles, Riton Liebman, Marina Tome.
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