Unsettling. A film that looked like a rom-com for the pre-retirees, but it was far from being all laughs. In fact, it turned out to be quite depressing. Nonetheless, there was a glimpse of hope at the very end. Having said that, you shouldn’t dismiss it, just that you need to be in the mood for it; otherwise, it will ruin your movie night.
Meg(Lindsay Duncan) and Nick(Jim Broadbent) from Birmingham are spending a weekend in Paris for their second honeymoon. They are onboard the Eurorstar crossing the Channel. Nick is grabbing a plastic shopping bag close to his chest, while Meg is leisurely reading a novel.
Arriving at Paris, they find the ho-s-tel they are staying in. Meg protests the room is the size of a coffin, but Nick is absorbing the view tiptoed and announces that he can see Montmartre, the tip of it anyway.
Meg disappointed, get into a cab, Nick dashes out, narrowly missing it, looking for more suitable accommodation. Meg grabs Nick’s Euros that he holds tightly, and gives note after note to the cab driver so that he can give them a cab tour of the city. They end the cab ride landing at a 4-star Michelin hotel that had hosted Tony Blair once in its presidential suite. They settle in the same suite, go out to the little balcon with direct view of La Tour Eiffel.
They go for lunch, having the usual agree-to-disagree couple conversations. Then they go to Montparnass cemetery so that Nick can visit poets, novelists, artists, that he has studied, researched, and written papers. Nick is a professor, and Meg is a teacher.
Along the way, they continue with their conversations (not communications!). After dinner they run into Nick’s schoolmate from Cambridge, Morgan(Jeff Goldblum). Morgan was one year behind Nick, but looked up to Nick as a mentor. He invites the couple to his home for dinner the next day.
Next evening, their conversations take a wrong turn, and beginning to sound more like accusation. Nonetheless, they are ready for the evening at Morgan’s. Meg is the creative type, manages to get Nick into a nice suit for the event.
Common to most European films, hell breaks loose at dinner!
There was a deeper layer of thoughts went into this film. Hence, I said “unsettling” at the beginning, because all was not right on the surface. Duncan and Broadbent were so successful portraying the characters that they became Meg and Nick from Birmingham. Truly amazing.
The film looked at ageing, marriage, altered life goals, lost opportunities, lost youth, success and failure; the ultimate question though, sadly but truly, is What Now for Meg and Nick, a couple of sexagenarians?! Could they start over like a couple of naïve young adults roaming Paris running constantly away from their mischief?
WATCH…as I learned in my French translation class La vie n’est aucun plaisir! which I naïvely made the faux pas of direct translation: La vie n’est pas une boule de cerises, LOL! So true, despite one’s age, Life is never a bowl of cherries.