LET IT RAIN

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Lau­rel Glad­den For The New Mex­i­can

Karim ( Jamel Deb­bouze) is a bud­ding young filmmaker who teams up with older Michel ( Jean-Pierre Bacri) to make a doc­u­men­tary about suc­cess­ful women. They in­ter­view as­pir­ing politician Agathe Vil­lanova (co-writer and di­rec­tor Agnès Jaoui) at her fam­ily’s coun­try home, where her sis­ter Florence (Pas­cale Ar­bil­lot), who’s hav­ing an af­fair with Michel, lives with her hus­band (Guil­laume de Ton­quedec). This sounds like the setup for a clas­sic farce, but al­though some scenes are mildly funny and so­cial com­men­tary lurks be­neath the sur­face, the film is too chatty, slight, and anticlimactic to have much im­pact. A re­cep­tion fol­lows the Fri­day, July 30, screen­ing. Not rated. 99 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. CCA Cine­math­eque, Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

Let It Rain, dram­edy of man­ners, not rated, in French with sub­ti­tles, CCA Cine­math­eque, 982-1338, 2.5 chiles

IOs­car Wilde once as­serted that “con­ver­sa­tion about the weather is the last refuge of the unimag­i­na­tive.” While it’s not an es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing topic, the weather af­fects ev­ery­one, which makes it an in­nocu­ous sub­ject for strik­ing up a con­ver­sa­tion with a stranger. En­gag­ing in weather-re­lated small talk with a friend, fam­ily mem­ber, or part­ner, though, can be a way to side­step weight­ier topics and avoid gen­uine in­ter­ac­tion.

Let It Rain is a mis­lead­ing trans­la­tion of the ti­tle of this film, the third stand­out fea­ture from no­table French writer-di­rec­tor-ac­tress Agnès Jaoui. The south of France, where the story is set, isn’t ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a drought, and none of the char­ac­ters wishes it would rain — in fact, one storm rolls in at a rather in­con­ve­nient moment. A more ac­cu­rate trans­la­tion of the orig­i­nal ti­tle, Par­lez-moi de la pluie, would be “Talk to Me About the Rain” or, id­iomat­i­cally, “Let’s Talk About the Rain.” All of the char­ac­ters in this slight, mildly en­gag­ing film jab­ber quite a lot, but you get the feel­ing they’re not re­ally say­ing what they want to say.

Ho­tel clerk Karim (Jamel Deb­bouze) is a bud­ding young filmmaker with an idea for a doc­u­men­tary about suc­cess­ful women. For help and guid­ance, he teams up with a self-ag­gran­diz­ing but in­com­pe­tent washed-up jour­nal­ist named Michel (Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jaoui’s long­time writ­ing part­ner). Since Karim’s mother (Mi­mouna Hadji) was the maid to the fam­ily of as­pir­ing politician

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