Opening 18 Jul 2013
Writing credits: Laurie Aubanel, Jérôme Enrico, Bianca Olsen, Cyril Rambour
Principal actors: Bernadette Lafont, Carmen Maura, Dominique Lavanant, Françoise Bertin, André Penvern
This very French comedy is named for its central character ‘Paulette’ (Bernadette Lafont), an 80-year-old, tough, misanthropic widow and former pastry chef. She lives in one of the rundown and problem-ridden Parisian ‘banlieues’ and – much to her displeasure – door-to-door with immigrants whom she refers to in rather ‘politically incorrect’ terms. But then: this crabby old bat doesn’t treat her friends and family any differently either. While she dishes out her mean remarks and prejudices with a straight face, the situations are often so absurd that even she would laugh if she could see herself.
Paulette is barely making ends meet and just when she is about to lose everything, voilá, a chunk of Hashish literally falls in her lap. Once she finds out what it is and how much it is worth, she establishes a thriving ‘dealership’ in no time at all, putting the competition in her ‘hood’ to shame and her finances back in order. Accidentally she and her girlfriends – who have become partners in this venture – discover a creative way to package the drugs and sell them out of Paulette’s home; now a bizarre and illustrious mix of people that she previously wouldn’t have given the time of day, starts to frequent her apartment.
It’s best to disregard the questionable morals of the story (like: “the end justifies the means”), even the social criticism intended by the director (Jérôme Enrico), and let yourself be entertained by this amusing fairytale. (Carola A)