What if you could relive a specific moment in your life? What time would you choose? This is what the second feature film by Nicolas Bedos The good times explore. With an incredible cast of Daniel Auteuil, Fanny Ardant, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tillier and Pierre Arditi, the film hits UK theaters on November 22.
Victor, played by Daniel Auteuil, is a designer, married to the beautiful Marianne, played by Fanny Ardant. The film opens as the two are at a dinner party with friends and their son. Sitting at opposite ends of the long table, the two seem to be on either side of everything. He is nostalgic for the past, she never tires of new technologies. Marianne is not satisfied with their marriage, and after an argument, she throws him out of their apartment, soon replacing him with her therapist, played by Denis Podalydès, with whom she has an affair.
Victor decides to use the voucher his son gave him “for time travel”. Antoine, their son’s childhood friend, played by Guillaume Canet, has created a service for those who can afford it, so that a group of actors can replay any period in a carefully chosen setting, similar to a movie set. Customers can choose, for example, to have a drink with Hemingway in a cafe from the 1920s. Victor chooses to relive a specific moment in his life, when he was in his twenties: the first time he met the love of his life in a café in Lyon, May 16, 1974.
Antoine asks Margot, played by Doria Tillier, one of the actresses working in Antoine’s company, to play the role of Victor’s great love. While the same day in this cafe is replayed every day for a week, Victor remembers his youth and slowly falls in love with Margot (or is it for the original young woman of the 1970s?).
Victor chooses a moment in his own life, he chooses reality over fantasy, where the actors have to act out word for word what he remembers happened. Victor even catches Margot when she comes out of the script. Unlike the series Westworld, The good times it is not a question of escaping from one’s own reality. Here, the interactive experience allows Victor to relive his own memories. He runs away from his present, wanting to return to what he was at twenty-five. This is where Bedos’ film is strongest and most poignant, as it explores the elusive passage of time. The film suggests – through Victor’s theatrical settings and drawings – that it is through art (in whatever form) that these fleeting moments are captured and relived, only to transform into a new one. memory.
Bedos’ film is a very charming French film that plunges its audience into nostalgia for the imagined 1970s, a period that the director himself did not know. Sitting in the makeshift 1970s café in Lyon, Victor recounts how he misses the time when everyone smoked and looked at each other instead of their cell phones. However, the film does not bathe in a nostalgia that would overflow with sentimentality. The very period in which Victor is savoring is here a reconstruction.
The good times is a witty and very funny romantic comedy with a really good cast that is sure to please a crowd if given the chance. There are no official U.S. theatrical release dates yet. It was released in France on November 6, dethroning Joker at the top of the French box office after its opening week. The film will be in British theaters from November 22, distributed by Pathé and Orange Studio. If you had the opportunity to relive the most poignant moment of your life, wouldn’t you want to?