Dumped [Larguées] — Alliance Française French Film Festival 2019, Palace Cinemas, March–April 2019

Two sisters (Camille Cottin, Allied; and Camille Chamoux, The Starry Sky Above Me) who could hardly be less alike undertake a mission to rescue their mother’s (Miou-Miou, Populaire) zest for life after their father dumps her for a much younger woman. Their mother, maudlin and closed to life’s possibilities, only reluctantly goes with her daughters to a resort set in a tropical paradise. It’s here that they hope to cheer her up in the approach to her 60th birthday, and to infuse her with visions of a brighter future. And when one sister grasps an opportunity to boost their mother’s self-confidence by encouraging a resort employee to dance and flirt with her, she sets in motion a potential heartbreak.

Naturally, each well-meaning act of deceit escalates the disastrous consequences, and pretty-much everything that could go wrong does go wrong.

Despite the tropical resort’s fake glamour, the beauty of the setting only adds to the film’s charm, and even in this contrived environment, real life, with its real dramas, plays out. The plot highlights the wisdom that depends on life experience; the trouble with assumptions; the various forms that loss takes; and the ability of good-heartedness to ultimately triumph over indifference and abandonment.

This truly feel-good movie, excellently cast across the board, is, despite its sometimes serious subject matter, consistently lighthearted, often funny, and always visually interesting, and is worth a look on the big screen.

MICHELE E. HAWKINS and JOHN P. HARVEY

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