Selected release (96 minutes)
THIS French coming-of-old-age comedy drama is bound to be compared with the more crowd-pleasing English hit The New Exotic Marigold Hotel. Stephane Robelin's film explores an experiment in living arrangements for the elderly, but it involves close friends rather than strangers, and a familiar place rather than a distant new world.
Five people who have known each other for decades - two elderly couples and a single man - decide to set up house together.
An ethnography student (Daniel Bruhl) joins their household; initially hired as a dog-walker, he becomes involved in studying them for his thesis. Secrets from the distant past, however - as well as present frailties - threaten to undermine the household.
One of the men is a long-time radical who still sees himself as an activist; the other is a dedicated ladies man who likes to take nude photographs of women and still visits prostitutes. The women come across as more grounded and pragmatic - particularly Jeanne, a retired academic (an appealing performance from a Francophone Jane Fonda).
Robelin has a solid cast, but he never really makes the most of an interesting, almost provocative premise.
Bruhl's character, in particular, is wasted in an underwritten role, and - apart from a pleasingly inconclusive ending - the film feels weighed down, in an odd way, by its own lightness.