THEATRICAL REVIEW: French Exit imitates the weird & whacky of Wes Anderson with none of the sublime storytelling

Have you ever been to an improv comedy show? The ones that always seem to work the best are when the comedians don’t even question the material their partners give them.

In that spirit, I’ve always seen the whacky, off-kilter sensibilities and storylines of Wes Anderson’s movies to be so thoroughly enjoyable because none of the A-list cast questions the conceits of the screenplay. They just accept the ride and its twists, and give everything they can to the final product.

But with French Exit – from director Azazel Jacobs – the actors stutter-step and question their way through material that would have already been weird, even if they had thrown caution to the wind.

The questions from the cast of characters made me lose interest, and begin to question the plot myself. Then it all fell apart.

Derived from Patrick DewItt’s book, French Exit revolves around an old socialite in Manhattan who moved to Paris with her son and their cat when the inheritance runs out.

From there, they meet an incredible cast of characters and learn what’s necessary in their lives. To say Lucas Hedges, the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tracy Letts aren’t fantastic in the film would be a lie. But my God, are they ever weird. They don’t act like real people.

The plot twists are insane and I just couldn’t suspend any more disbelief. A Golden Globes contender, it also happens to be one of the silliest films I’ve ever endured.

2/5 Stars

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