×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Rendez-vous of Deja Vu’

Late 1960s anarchic social humor is one of several jumping-off points for Antonin Peretjatko’s wearily frenetic Franco-farce.

With:
Vimala Pons, Gregoire Tachnakian, Vincent Macaigne, Marie-Lorna Vaconsin, Serge Trinquecoste, Thomas Schmitt, Esteban, Philippe Gouin, Lucie Borleteau, Pierre Merejkowsky, Claude Sanchez, Yoann Rey, Albert Delpy, Bruno Podalydes, Thomas Ruat, Thomas Vernant.

Late-1960s anarchic social humor is one of several jumping-off points for Antonin Peretjatko’s wearily frenetic Franco-farce “The Rendez-vous of Deja Vu.” Other touchstones include Godard, Jacques Rozier and even Monty Python, the latter especially manifest in the way gags pile up within skits, arguably a holdover from Peretjatko’s previous work as a shorts helmer. Broadly playing off the economic crisis and the Gallic sanctity of the summer holidays, the pic will tickle French funny bones on the political left but is too locally nudge-nudge-wink-wink to play offshore; even fests are unlikely takers.

The French title, which translates as “The July 14th Girl,” has clearer connotations than the nonsensical English-lingo moniker, which appears onscreen after a sped-up montage of July 14th celebrations from the last two presidential administrations, featuring Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Hollande, and various soldiers whose jerky marching recalls toy legionnaires in some Mittel-European operetta. Wandering through the crowds, hawking copies of leftist broadsheet La Commune, is Truquette (Vimala Pons), whose name is more or less equal to “Thingie,” and whose resemblance to Jean Seberg selling the New York Herald Tribune in “Breathless” is purely tangential.

Museum guard Charlotte (Marie-Lorna Vaconsin) helps set up Truquette with fellow guard Hector (Gregoire Tachnakian). Together with bogus doctor Pator (Vincent Macaigne), they all go on vacation together during the usual monthlong holidays most of France has come to expect. They’re joined by Charlotte’s randy brother, Bertier (Thomas Schmitt), but as the road trip begins, the government announces it’s curtailing summer breaks as a cost-saving measure to counter the country’s economic woes. The group splits in two, with everyone trying to make the most of their shortened vacation.

Popular on Variety

The episodic nature of the anarchic plot allows for the introduction of various side characters, such as ultra-hyper Dr. Placenta (Serge Trinquecoste), whose name is unnecessarily translated in the subtitles as “Dr. Afterbirth.” While some will be amused by the madcap nature of it all, others, especially offshore viewers, are more likely to be worn down by Peretjatko’s self-indulgence. Audiences hoping for intelligent satirical jibes at the global crisis or the similarities between Sarkozy and Hollande should look elsewhere.

Playing around with the frame rate certainly increases the pic’s manic qualities, but the device, combined with often underwhelming gags, can induce unwelcome flashbacks to “Love, American Style.” The use of 16mm stock furthers the sense of a post-1968 burlesque, made stronger by a cutesy and extensive use of musical snippets in keeping with a postmodernist take on Nixonian satires.

Cannes Film Review: 'The Rendez-vous of Deja Vu'

Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight), May 23, 2013. Running time: 88 MIN. Original title: "La fille du 14 juillet"

Production: (France) A Shellac release of an Ecce Films production, in association with Sofica Cinemage 6. (International sales: Ecce Films, Paris.) Produced by Emmanuel Chaumet.

Crew: Directed, written by Antonin Peretjatko. Camera (color, 16mm-to-DCP), Simon Roca; editors, Carole Le Page, Peretjatko; production designer, Erwan Le Gal; costume designer, Astrid Deckherr; sound (Dolby 5.1), Julien Brossier, Julien Roiget, Martial De Roffignac; casting, Valerie Pangrazzi.

With: Vimala Pons, Gregoire Tachnakian, Vincent Macaigne, Marie-Lorna Vaconsin, Serge Trinquecoste, Thomas Schmitt, Esteban, Philippe Gouin, Lucie Borleteau, Pierre Merejkowsky, Claude Sanchez, Yoann Rey, Albert Delpy, Bruno Podalydes, Thomas Ruat, Thomas Vernant.

More Film

  • Imogen Poots

    'Black Christmas' Star Imogen Poots on Why Male Horror Fans Should See Slasher Remake

    “Black Christmas” is the second remake of the 1974 slasher classic, which centers on a group of sorority sisters stalked by an unknown murderer. While the original had the female protagonists (SPOILER) offed, in this one, the women fight back. “It’s been called a re-imagining of the original, and I think, in ways that the [...]

  • Imogen Poots as Riley in "Black

    'Black Christmas': Film Review

    “Black Christmas,” a low-budget Canadian horror movie released in 1974, was a slasher thriller with a difference: It was the very first one! Okay, there were more than a few precedents, from “Psycho” (the great-granddaddy of the genre) to “The Last House on the Left” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” to Mario Bava’s “A [...]

  • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. Creators and

    'Game of Thrones' Creators to Develop H.P. Lovecraft Movie at Warner Bros.

    Following their exit from the “Star Wars” universe, “Game of Thrones” co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have found their replacement pic, signing on to produce an untitled thriller based on the graphic novel “Lovecraft” for Warner Bros. It is unknown if they will also direct the project, but they’ve already set Phil Hay and [...]

  • Little Women Greta Gerwig BTS

    Greta Gerwig and 'Little Women' Crew Mix Modern and Classical

    Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Sony’s “Little Women,” a new look at Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved 19th-century classic. Eager to pay tribute to her artisan colleagues, Gerwig says, “It was a joy for me to work with all these people. It’s a movie that’s impossible to create without world-class artists. They killed themselves for me!” [...]

  • Honey Boy

    Shia LaBeouf's 'Honey Boy' Adds Unusual Twist to Oscar's History With Kids

    Hollywood has made many terrific films about childhood, and many about filmmaking. Amazon’s “Honey Boy,” which opened Nov. 8, combines the two: A movie with a child’s POV of the industry. That unique angle could be a real benefit during awards season, and the film’s backstory — with Shia LaBeouf as the main attraction — will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content