Film Review: Two Tickets to Greece

Film Review: Two Tickets to Greece (M)
FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer, Dave Bradley, reviews the wildly entertaining new comedy, Two Tickets to Greece (M).

Writer/director Marc Fitoussi’s dramatic/comedic character piece is unsurprisingly contrived, preposterous and silly, and yet the performances keep on saving it.

Fitoussi’s stars Laure Calamy, Olivia Côte, and Kristin Scott Thomas (introduced halfway through) give his improbable script life, heart, and humour, even though there are times when their characters could drive you nuts. Which is kind of the point.

After a 1987 flashback, we meet Blandine Bouvier (Côte), whose husband left her two years ago for a younger model and, in his absence, has become cynical and anti-social. The slightly absurd circumstances that get the plot moving involve her bound-for-college son Benjamin (Alexandre Desrousseaux) finding an old CD of the soundtrack to The Big Blue, which then leads him to track down her long-lost (and alienated) friend Magalie Graulières (Calamy).

After these two women meet for dinner, Blandine lies about it all going well, which means that Benjamin then gives Magalie his ticket to a Greek holiday, only these two pals from years ago don’t, of course, end up on the island of Amorgos. Instead, they’re dumped in a small fishing village, where Magalie dances like a loon and Blandine starts warming up to her, with a sweetly-staged flashback and some funny character stuff.

However, Magalie is a chaos magnet, and after almost setting up Blandine with a hot Belgian surfer (Nicolas Bridet), these two find themselves on another island that isn’t Amorgos with Magalie’s chum Bijou (Kristin), who knows full well what Magalie is like, and loves her anyway.

Director Fitoussi’s wobbly plot has all the expected female bonding, arguments, misunderstandings, hidden secrets, and character clichés expected, and yet the cast make it work despite itself. Côte ensures that Blandine (so-named for obvious reasons) is a complete misery-guts and yet, somehow, amiable, while Calamy (a long way from darker movies like Full Time and The Origin Of Evil) is somewhere between happy, horny, and hopeless. And Thomas is fabulous too, of course.

Kicking off this one at cinemas during Christmas is a clever decision too, because audiences are likely to be just cheerful (and maybe tipsy) enough to forgive its rather French flaws.

3 out of 5 STARS

Two Tickets To Greece is in cinemas now

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