Life Doesn't Scare Me

Life Doesn't Scare Me

****1/2

Reviewed by: Trinity

Do you remember what your teenage years were like at school? Life Doesn't Scare Me, follows four friends - Emilie (Woch), Ines (Molinier), Stella (Parmentier) and Marion (Rousselet) - as they progress through their school years discovering romance and heartbreak together. Together they perform magical rituals to ensnare their victims and support each other despite falling out over the most trivial of things. As they grow older, their paths drift apart and their reliance on each other is no longer enough. They know that life moves on and graduation beckons.

Life Doesn't Scare Me is a follow-up to writer/director Lvovsky's previous film, Petites, which featured the same young actresses as children. The first segment of the film is by far the funniest and records the girls meticulously planned attempts to snare their objects of desire. With military precision, photographs are stolen, every word is noted and every action becomes a reason to die for.

Copy picture

Three years later, and three of the girls (Ines, Stella and Marion) embark on a holiday to Italy, whilst Emilie attempts drama school. Here, their experiences are more painful and life threatens to overwhelm them. In the end it is time to return for their last year of school and the pressures of living up to expectations are sometimes too much to bear.

Like Michael Apted's 7-Up series, Life Doesn't Scare Me was filmed in stages, as the actresses grew up. But where 7-Up was a documentary, this is very much a work of fiction. Nevertheless, the experiences are achingly real and, thanks mostly to the remarkable performances, acutely touching.

It is amazing that Lvonsky managed to find four such assured girls, all of whom have developed into stunning young actresses. There is a truthful quality about the film which shines through the everyday incidents portrayed on screen. The only part of the film which could be considered a slight drawback is its meandering, episodic storyline which in some ways mimics "real" life.

This film is very reminiscent of Ma Vie En Rose, and several fantasy sequences help reinforce this. In the end, the only flaw is what seems to be a somewhat disjointed conclusion. One can only hope that this is because there will be a third film to round off the trilogy so that we can follow the young women into their new careers. A quite remarkable film, with outstanding performances by the four captivating young leads.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Four girls come of age in a movie about love, sex and friendship.

Director: Noemie Lvovsky

Writer: Noemie Lvovsky

Starring: Magalie Woch, Ingrid Molinier, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Camille Rousselet, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Jean-Luc Bideau

Year: 1999

Runtime: 91 minutes

Country: France

Festivals:

EIFF 2000

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