×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Very Merry Widows

A femme fatale initiates her granddaughter into the fine art of serial widowhood in "The Very Merry Widows." Jauntily amoral black comedy reps a distinct improvement over Catherine Corsini's Sapphic stalker drama "Replay" (Cannes 2001), and Jane Birkin is entertaining as the heartlessly efficient murderess who's tracked down by her only living relative, orphaned Emilie Dequenne.

With:
With: Jane Birkin, Emilie Dequenne, Pierre Richard, Clovis Cornillac, Jeremie Elkaim, Amira Casar, Laurent Grevill.

A femme fatale initiates her granddaughter into the fine art of serial widowhood in “The Very Merry Widows.” Jauntily amoral black comedy reps a distinct improvement over Catherine Corsini’s Sapphic stalker drama “Replay” (Cannes 2001), and Jane Birkin is entertaining as the heartlessly efficient murderess who’s tracked down by her only living relative, orphaned Emilie Dequenne. Pic isn’t terribly plausible and motivations are thin-to-convenient but there’s a breezy quality to the marriages and murders, thanks to game thesping, a nifty score by Krishna Levy and enticing locations from Cannes to Mauritius. Middle-of-the-road romp has already been sold to several European territories.

Renee (Birkin) is an expert at wedding and rapidly surviving old rich guys. Insurance investigator Thomas (Jeremie Elkaim) has come to settle Renee’s latest claim when he observes 20-year-old Laurence (Dequenne) arriving to surprise the grandma she hasn’t seen for 16 years. Renee is hardly a positive role model, but she’s soon giving unsophisticated Laurence a “Pretty Woman” makeover and tutoring her in the art of snaring wealthy men.

Laurence’s weak spot is a tendency to fall for every guy she meets. Laurence and Thomas are obviously suited to each other, but first Thomas endures a strained S&M encounter with a co-worker (Amira Casar) and Laurence goes through a distraught widower (Laurent Grevill) and a beefy village tycoon (Clovis Cornillac, very good). Renee’s M.O. is challenged when she finds herself genuinely falling for spry bon vivant Maurice (Pierre Richard).

Plotting is expedient, dialogue caustic, behavior quasi-madcap and unkind. Local crix found venture lame and distasteful — positing that if you can’t make a great dark laffer you shouldn’t even try — but undemanding auds seem to be enjoying themselves throughout this guilty pleasure.

The Very Merry Widows

France - Belgium

Production: A Mars Distribution release of a Les Films Pelleas (France)/Versus Production (Belgium) co-production with France 3 Cinema, Rhone-Alpes Cinema. (International sales: FPI, Paris.) Produced by Philippe Martin. Executive producer, Philippe Hagege. Directed by Catherine Corsini. Screenplay, Corsini, Philippe Blasband, Christophe Morand.

Crew: Camera (color), Jeanne Lapoirie; editor, Yannick Kergoat; music, Krishna Levy; art director, Francoise Dupertuis; costume designer, Marielle Robaut; sound (Dolby), Philippe Baudhuin; casting, Brigitte Moidon. Reviewed at UGC Les Halles, Paris, July 9, 2003. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Jane Birkin, Emilie Dequenne, Pierre Richard, Clovis Cornillac, Jeremie Elkaim, Amira Casar, Laurent Grevill.

More Film

  • Korea Box Office: "Money" Wins Debut

    Korea Box Office: 'Money' Defeats 'Captain Marvel'

    Korean crime drama “Money” debuted on top of the South Korean box office, preventing “Captain Marvel” from topping the chart for three consecutive weekends. It is the story of a young stockbroker who dreams of riches but becomes caught in a stock market scam. Opening on Wednesday, the Showbox release earned $12.0 million from 1.54 [...]

  • Us Movie

    'Us' Cements the Box Office Power of Jordan Peele

    Given the breakout success of “Get Out,” it’s no surprise audiences were salivating to see the next nightmare from the mind of writer-director Jordan Peele. “Get Out,” which landed a screenwriting Oscar for Peele, became one of the most profitable movies of 2017 (grossing $255 million globally on a $4.5 million budget) after the horror [...]

  • Box Office Film Placeholder

    China Box Office: Taiwan's 'More Than Blue' Wins Second Weekend

    Taiwanese melodrama, “More Than Blue” held strong at the Chinese box office, to secure a second week of success. The film is a Chinese-language remake of a Korean film from 2009, involving Singapore’s MM2 and the filmmaking arm of Fox Networks. With little in the way of strong, new competition, “blue” scored $27 million, according [...]

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Us Scriptwriter and Film-maker Larry Cohen

    Larry Cohen, Cult Horror Writer-Director of 'It's Alive,' Dies at 77

    Larry Cohen, best known for his work as a B-movie producer and director in the ’70s and his later work in screenwriting, has died. He was 77. Cohen’s friend, actor and publicist Shade Rupe, confirmed the news, which was announced in a post to Cohen’s official Facebook page. Rupe said Cohen died in Los Angeles [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content