"Odd and Directionless, with an Occult Subplot"
What You Need To Know:
FRENCH EXIT relies on sarcastic dialogue and short, quirky episodes to drive its dark comical style. Its efforts fall flat. The movie lacks a central narrative, emotional weight and compelling characters. Furthermore, the story takes a surrealistic turn when Frances uses a clairvoyant witch to contact her dead husband. While the movie’s R rating is only due to some “f” words, FRENCH EXIT’s bizarre use of witchcraft and lack of direction prevents the story from having a morally positive outcome. MOVIEGUIDE® rates FRENCH EXIT excessive and unacceptable, especially because of its occult subplot.
FRENCH EXIT stars Michelle Pfeiffer as an aging Manhattan socialite, Frances, who moves into a friend’s Paris apartment with her son, Malcolm, her cat, and a dwindling inheritance from her dead husband.
The movie opens as a younger Frances unexpectedly barges into a school to take her son Malcolm away. It’s unclear why the abrupt events happen. However, it seems as if Frances is now a widow, and Malcolm is finally receiving the attention he deserves as her son.
The movie fasts forwards. Frances and Malcolm live in the center of Manhattan in an enormous home. However, the bank informs Frances that her dead husband’s inheritance isn’t enough to keep up her luxurious lifestyle.
Frances goes to her last true friend, Joan, and Joan offers Frances her apartment in Paris. There are already tensions between Malcolm and his mother. Also, he’s unwilling to tell her he’s engaged to his girlfriend, Susan. However, with no other options, Frances, Malcolm and their black cat set off to France, leaving their old life behind.
On the boat ride across the North Atlantic ocean, Malcolm meets a clairvoyant witch. At first, people think the witch is crazy. However, when her prediction of someone dying comes true, Malcolm and Frances believe her.
Once in Paris, Malcolm and Frances try to make the most of their new situation. However, Malcolm misses his girlfriend, and Frances misses her husband, despite not being fond of him. One night, Frances’s cat goes missing. Frances believes she has a special connection with the cat, and so she hires a private investigator to find the witch from the boat. As the odd cast of characters grows, Frances and Malcolm seek closure.
The FRENCH EXIT relies on sarcastic dialogue and short, quirky episodes to drive its dark comical style. Sadly, its efforts fall flat due to no central narrative, a lack of emotional weight and characters that aren’t compelling. Furthermore, the movie takes a surrealistic turn when Frances uses a clairvoyant witch to contact her dead husband.
While the movie’s R-rating is only due to some “f” words, FRENCH EXIT’s bizarre use of witchcraft and lack of direction prevents the movie from having a morally positive outcome. FRENCH EXIT also has some references to suicide and an occasional nonchalant attitude toward death that’s played for comedy. MOVIEGUIDE® rates FRENCH EXIT excessive and unacceptable, especially because of its occult subplot involving a clairvoyant witch trying to contact a dead person. God clearly condemns such practices in the Hebrew Scriptures and in Revelation 21:8.