Little White Lies

Directed By: Guillaume Canet

Starring: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Jean Dujardin, Laurent Lafitte, Valérie Bonetton, and Pascale Arbillot

Lies almost always catch up with you, especially the small ones. The worst lies are those that you tell yourself. You can't evade the truth forever. Sometimes it just comes crashing down on you, and you're absolutely helpless when it does. This is definitely the case for a group of longtime friends in Guillaume Canet's Little White Lies. They've been lying to themselves and each other for a long time now, and the truth is just crashing down on them in a tragic way.

Ludo (Jean Dujardin) is a partying machine. Getting high, getting wasted, and getting ladies, this guy is having a good time at a Parisian nightclub. When he departs the club in the morning on his scooter, he's struck by a truck and hospitalized. Somehow surviving the brutal accident, Ludo is now fighting for his life. His friends have come to his side to help, but they soon come to the conclusion that there's nothing they can actually do while he recovers. They lie and convince themselves that their friend doesn't need them in his darkest hour and instead opt to go on their annual vacation for the summer.

As the summer holiday gets under way at the home of wealthy restaurateur Max (François Cluzet), the lies quickly build. Max's best friend Vincent (Benoît Magimel) tells Max that he loves him. These two lie to themselves and say that this won't impact their friendship or the vacation. Party animal Eric (Gilles Lellouche) lies to the group about his failing relationship with his girlfriend Léa (Louise Monot). Lovesick puppy Antoine (Laurent Lafitte) is fooling himself by thinking that his longtime lover Juliette (Anne Marivin) is going to come back to him because of a few text messages. Finally, Ludo's ex-girlfriend Marie (Marion Cotillard) is just damaged goods, and she doesn't know how to love even when it's right in front of her. With all these lies, tension is brewing and an implosion is coming during this vacation. All the while, Ludo is fighting for his life alone.

Combining genuine hilarity and true sadness into a film is a very tough task that really can test the range of a filmmaker. Apparently, director Guillaume Canet is up for the challenge. In his film Little White Lies, Canet has really woven the lives and the struggles of this group of friends into one giant web of lies that grows immensely and hilariously with the backdrop of a tragedy. With an all-star ensemble, Little White Lies is a powerful, authentic comedy-drama that delivers nonstop laughs. This gem of a film is smart. It's tragic. It's unusually fun to watch.

While the writing in Little White Lies is second to none, the performances by the cast really make the film. Though they all deliver impressive performances, three actors stand out the most — François Cluzet, Gilles Lellouche, and Marion Cotillard. As Max, Cluzet is consistently the funniest person on screen. Whether chasing weasels, clamming up because of his newly gay best friend, or just being grumpy, he will keep you in tears laughing. As party animal Eric, Lellouche delivers his fair share of laughs, but he also gives us a more serious character with problems in his love life and fears of being a permanent bachelor. As Marie, Cotillard brings emotional gravitas to the film. With her ex-boyfriend Ludo in poor health and plenty of woes in her own love life, she's a wreck. Cotillard moves us in her emotional portrayal of Marie.

Little White Lies is a surprisingly nimble film. Because of great direction by Canet and strong performances from the cast, emotions can turn on a dime in this flick. With lots of comedy and great drama, the film is certainly satisfying on the whole. The only problem with the movie is that it's a little long, and you can feel when it passes the two-hour mark. Little White Lies gets a strong 0.03% rating. Have a few wine coolers with this one.