Release Date: June 22, 1990
Starring: Michel Piccoli, Miou-Miou,
Michel Duchaussoy, Dominque
Blanc, Harriet Walter, Bruno
Carette, & Francois Berleande
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Orion Classics
Director: Louis Malle
Producer: Vincent Malle
Writer: Louis Malle & Jean-Claude
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Prosperous, but unhappy, selfish and trivial, the family members arrive, clad in their eccentricities. The first is Milou's daughter, Camille, with her daughter, Francois, and twin sons. Camille immediately steals some of grandma's jewelry before the others arrive. Francois visits her dead great-grandmother (on display in the library until the funeral) and slaps her face to make sure she is dead. She is.
Next to arrive is Claire, Milou's niece, toting her female lover. The ever-curious Francois later asks Milou why Claire's "friend " is tied to the bed post. "So she wouldn't leave," he tells her. Ha-ha. Finally, Milou's brother, Georges, and his English wife Lily emerge on the scene, and the reunion is almost complete. However, the family get-together doesn't work out as Milou had hoped. There is constant bickering and jealousy between Camille and Claire, Georges ignores his wife, and Francois now wants to know what sperm is.
A heated argument ensues over the division of the property. Camille, Claire and Georges want to sell the villa, but Milou vehemently refuses, fearing if they do that the family will break up for good. This stalemate causes a big chill until Georges' son makes a surprise appearance with news about the student riots in Paris. De Gaulle has left Paris, and the Pandemonium is spreading to the countryside. Fearing they will be slaughtered by the "savage" students who loathe the rich, they all head to the hills, leaving the villa and their grandma behind; but, not their differences.
MAY FOOLS swims in sensuality. It portrays the good life in the French countryside: eating, drinking, singing, having sex, exchanging verbal wit.... All form and no substance, as these characters shamelessly indulge themselves. Yet, however light and pleasant the characters seem superficially, they are a broken, hurting people whose sense of significance and identity are measured by outward appearance.
Theirs is a withering existence, life without God at its center. "There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12). 1 John 2:15-17 also comes to mind: "Do not love the world or anything in the world... the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
In addition, the film implies that religion is an afterthought, brought in only for times of emergency, not relevant to everyday life. In fact, while praying over the deceased, the priest irreverently turns up the radio's volume to hear the news, thus demonstrating which is more important to him.
MAY FOOLS does not edify and is not worth your time or money. In spite of the fawning secular reviews, one would be a fool to see this one... in season or out.
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