Friends from France movie (personal reflections)

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Ok, I’ve finished watching this film and figured I’d share some thoughts, just on the cousins’ relationship.

***This post contains spoilers***

Slice-of-life stories are not really my kind of thing, but when it comes to handling complex subjects, I think drama (as a genre) generally does more justice to the issues involved than many other genres.

In the past, there have been a number of films that have managed to capture romantic love between cousins in a nuanced, sympathetic way. Friends From France left me with mixed feelings: disappointment and a strange sense of peace at the same time.

The two main characters definitely had chemistry. It was a believable blend of friendship, mutual attraction, and familial love that became the basis of the romantic feelings that developed between them.

Their affectionate interaction was really sweet to watch, but it seemed like there was always something in the way, something left unspoken. Neither of them really had a proper conversation about what they’d want out of the relationship, and this created a distance between them that never really seemed to get resolved.

It’s true that not all cousin relationships end in marriage and a perfect life, but in the case of these two, I really didn’t understand what was stopping them from committing to each other. I could’ve accepted the circumstances if we (as an audience) at least got some explanation about why they are not together – just one conversation between the guy and girl that involved actual discussion about the future.

It was still a beautiful movie in some ways, and I think what saved it for me was that they were both honest with each other about their love, and their storyline is imagined in a bold enough way to even include them having a child together. I can’t help but feel it is really nothing but fear of stigma that is keeping them apart.

I never take the ending of a movie as the final say. As long as the characters are alive, I believe the story goes on… So I can’t help but try to imagine what the rest of their lives would be like.

There are a bunch of options: They could go on living their separate lives but still keep in touch and participate more in each other’s life…….. They could finally have that delayed conversation about whether or not they want to be together as long-term partners…….. They could go back and fourth until fate arranges the circumstances just right for them to really be together. The important thing is, they have a strong support in their friend Viktor, who seems to be very open-minded and loving towards them both. The woman the main guy is dating by the end is also very good-natured, so even if she may be upset at first, I think there’s a chance that she’d be supportive as well if Carol and him ever got together permanently.

Whatever happens, the kid certainly deserves to know who his real father is, and it’s not right that the other man is raising the kid without knowing it’s not his. Vera also deserves honesty.

So to sum it up: This movie is frustrating to watch at times, but it is still worth watching. It feels incomplete and strangely satisfying at the same time. You really just got to watch it and see for yourself. 

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