What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has mature themes, sexual references, and situations, including adultery. There is some strong language. And there is an attempted suicide and serious (off-screen) violence.
What's the story?
Kate Hudson plays Isabel, a California girl arriving in Paris to help her pregnant sister Roxy (Naomi Watts). But just as Isabel arrives, Roxy's artist husband Charles-Henri (Melvil Poupaud) leaves. So Isabel and Roxy are set adrift in a culture and legal system that is foreign to them. But Isabel and Roxy do not know how to deal with the subtlety and indirection of the rest of Charles-Henri's family, led by his mother (Leslie Caron). They appear to be plotting to have a painting hanging in Roxy's apartment declared to be part of the marital assets to be divided in the divorce. Roxy says that the painting belonged to her family, who just loaned it to her for her apartment. But it now appears that the painting might be much more valuable than they had thought, and Charles-Henri's brother brings in a curator from the Louvre to authenticate it as a Georges de la Tour. The ambiguity of the painting's provenance (three different experts come to see it and all have different opinions) and its status as a marital asset parallels the precariousness Roxy and Isabel experience in their relationships.
Is it any good?
LE DIVORCE may look and sound like a glossy romantic comedy, but it is instead an uneven take on the culture clash between America and France. All of the performances sparkle and there are some witty and sharply observed moments. But the movie's own perspective becomes too ambiguous, especially when it veers into a tragedy that throws everything out of balance.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the way the different characters see and react to the same things -- for example, the painting, marital fidelity, discussion of sensitive topics. Is that due to differences in culture or to something else?