COMEDY / FRANCE / 2019 / 87 MINS / MA15+
‘Empty nest’ films typically follow the person flying from the nest, but Lisa Azuelos (AF FFF15, Chance Encounter; AF FFF10, LOL; AF FFF07, Hey Good Looking) provides a refreshing perspective, turning her attention, instead, to the mother left behind.
Jade (Thaïs Alessandrin) is the pride and joy of Héloïse (a hilarious performance by Sandrine Kiberlain, AF FFF19, Pupille; AF FFF17, Being 17; AF FFF16, The Sweet Escape), a 40-something restaurateur who’s personal life is in disarray. But, with her daughter’s high school graduation looming, Héloïse frets that her beloved little ‘sweetheart’ has suddenly blossomed into a grown and independent woman.
Through a series of flashbacks, Azuelos takes audiences through Jade and her siblings’ formative years where we witness pivotal moments that enrichen later scenes. Caught up in a wave of nostalgia, so reluctant is Héloïse to let her daughter go that she risks inadvertently impeding Jade’s ability to move forward successfully into the next chapter of her life.
With Azuelos casting her own daughter in the role of Jade, there is a gentle autobiographical critique to the parental experiences behind Sweetheart, making it as joyful and complicated as reallife mother-daughter relationships.
French with English subtitles.
“This film, full of sequences in which some parents will recognize themselves, transpires with sincerity and experience.”– L’Express
“Sweetheart is a bandage film, a film to go to see with his mother to soothe for a moment all the tensions that may exist or to revive nostalgia if this period is now behind you.”– Le Parisien
DIRECTED BY: Lisa Azuelos
STARRING: Sandrine Kiberlain, Thaïs Alessandrin, Victor Belmondo, Patrick Chesnais, Kyan Khojandi