Sunday, March 29, 2009
Mommy Is at the Hairdresser's (France) is another French film with a lot to chew on, however, this one is less Art, more heart.
The film is set in a lovely French countryside/suburb. The opening scene is of neighboring children on the school bus coming home in high spirits because it's the start of summer vacation. Who doesn't remember the anticipation and sense of fun of the last day of school!
As the camera zooms in on the pretty legs and bare feet of an adolescent girl of about 15, you know she (Elise) will be the center of the story and you know this will be a story of lost innocence. Not in the predictable sexual sense. No, this is the loss that takes place when one realizes their parents are human and that everything is not necessarily how it appears.
This story of a mother running off without her children has many levels, often oddly humorous. For instance, Elise's younger, mentally underdeveloped brother has several unfortunate mishaps with his "GI Joe" type action figures; There's a young boy who dresses as a Swiss Yodeler, his heart to heart talks with Elise over the dilapidated pool, consist of his insistence that he's really the son of a Austrian Prince, in order to cope with an abusive parent; and the very title invokes humor as the children get good at telling anyone who asks about their mother that "she's at the hairdresser".
[Director: Lea Pool / Screenwriter: Isabelle Herbert]
Rating: Pretty Index Toe