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Two Tickets to Greece US Premiere of Les Cyclades
Middle school best friends reunite in middle age - Magalie is a chaotic free spirit “freeloader”, Blandine is a divorcée “sourpuss” with severe depression. The Palm Beach Film Festival opening night was glamorous for “Two Tickets to Greece”, the first screening of the French film in the United States.
The Palm Beach Film Festival opening night was glamorous for “Two Tickets to Greece”, the first screening of the French film in the United States. Middle school best friends reunite in middle age – Magalie is a chaotic free spirit “freeloader”, Blandine is a divorcée “sourpuss” with severe depression. For personality, guessing ESFP and INTJ for the Myers Briggs MBTI personality scale, ie opposites. Their antics and crassness are hilarious, French style. This movie will make you cry. Awesome for age diversity and women, not much to see for racial diversity, except for one off-putting line. Minus that one part, it’s a fantastic US premiere.
Refreshing Age Diversity and Realism
It was refreshing to watch a movie about middle-aged women where they are the main characters, fully embracing their personalities authentically. Themes range from mental health and depression, sexual promiscuity, children, and breast cancer, to adventure, best friends, and how relationships ebb, and life flows. A beautiful scene is when Magalie is dancing at a Greece restaurant while Blandine looks on in baffled awe, and the scene transitions to Magalie and Blandie as young teenage girls, then back again.
The Importance of Female Friendships
All of this movie passes the Bechdel test. The movie is centered on the friendship between Magalie and Blandine, with another older female friend of Magalie’s on one of the Greek islands. No friend or person is going to behave exactly as you would like them to. Blandine is often times horrified by Magalie’s poverty and con-artist ways, but somewhat amazed by her free-spirit and sexual promiscuity. Magalie, on the other hand, is frustrated by Blandine’s fixed ways and sad mood, but also appreciative of her stability and moral compass. Director Marc Fitoussi skillfully creates juxtapositions, all the while connecting everything back to the raw beauty of being human. Blandine still resents Magalie stealing her crush in middle school all those years ago, which is brought back to light by Magalie sleeping with the surfer who asked her out. Blandine, and the audience, is thrown for a new perspective when Blandine painfully remarks that she hadn’t stolen the middle school crush, but had just forgotten to follow through on delivering Blandine’s love note because her life was in shambles with her parents’ divorce and abuse. Although both women are somewhat – I don’t really want to say flawed – understandably irritating to the other in some ways, they also complement each other well, and their love (friendship) for each other wins throughout the misunderstandings.
Off-Putting Racist Remark
There was one part in the film that was unnecessary and disparaging – one could argue racist. The white French women talk about how one of them saw Yoko Ono somewhere but didn’t recognize her or care. What, insinuating that all Asian people look the same, and that they can’t be bothered to tell them apart? There is no Asian representation in the film, so to put this part in was jarring. I don’t know if the film was trying to be relatable for white people who are racist, but to me, this was completely unrelatable. The film would’ve been wise to lose this line or convert it to something positive, such as having Magalie being so outgoing that she got the chance to meet Yoko Ono by chance and was flattered. Racism being used as humor – disappointing. However, pointing these subtle micro-aggressions out helps hold screenwriters accountable.
Subtitles for Foreign Films is a Benefit for Comprehension for the Hearing Impaired, and Most Viewers
The French film displayed English subtitles, which is actually a huge benefit for people like myself who don’t have a hearing aid, but who find it difficult to hear and understand certain styles of speech. I love watching all films with subtitles, which is enabled with Netflix and VOD, so seeing a film in theater with subtitles was such a relief and a benefit.
Two Tickets to Greece (Les Cyclades) was a joy to watch, and an excellent choice for a film festival premiere!