The Players

"Excellent"

The Players Review


A series of short films and comedy sketches about male infidelity, this French film is often hilariously over-the-top in its farcical excesses. But it's also packed with moments of raw honesty as men grapple with their feelings and their failures.

The film is bookended with the wildly comical adventures of two friends who are serial cheaters: Fred (Dujardin) can separate feelings for his wife and mistresses, while Greg (Lellouche) is racked with guilt because he loves each woman. So they propose a trip to Las Vegas to get it out of their system. In other clips, Laurent (Dujardin) tries to stray while attending a conference away from home, Eric (Lellouche) struggles to cope with the partying lifestyle of his 19-year-old mistress (Ponsot), and Olivier (Dujardin) and his wife (Lamy) push each other to awkward confessions.

These shorts are separated by black-out sketches involving an embarrassing emergency room encounter, as S&M session that takes some startling turns, a philanderer trying to cover his tracks, and an Adulterers Anonymous group with a flustered leader (Kilberlain). Refreshingly, the filmmakers never pass judgement, presenting infidelity as a messy fact of life that should be avoided but isn't the end of the world. This allows the actors to create layered characters who are never villains, which is much more potent than any simplified view of right and wrong.

Dujardin and Lellouche are adept at broad comedy, squeezing every laugh out of a scene. But they're just as good as pathetic men hiding behind a hotel room door, a cocktail glass or their bustling bravado. In the opening scene, they even play with masculinity, hinting that Fred and Greg's rampant sexuality masks underlying gay tension, which they flatly deny. So when we revisit them later, the actors and filmmakers tease us right to the end.

But it's the more serious moments that linger. The Dujardin-Lamy short is painful without being preachy, and it has an immaculately observed conclusion.

Lellouche's odyssey with Ponsot takes unexpected turns on its way to a potent final shot. Each clip is skilfully made with moments of raw insight, broad comedy and, yes, sweaty sex. The overall effect is entertaining and much more thoughtful and provocative than we expect.



The Players

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 29th February 2012

Box Office USA: $6.7k

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Fred Cavaye, Emmanuelle Bercot, Eric Lartigau Alexandre Courtes, ,

Producer: , Marc Dujardin, Eric Hannezo, Guillaume Lacroix

Starring: Ethan Pringle as Himself, Chris Lindner as Himself, Emily Harrington as Herself, Lisa Rands as Herself, Alex Puccio as Herself, Daniel Woods as Himself, Joe Kinder as Himself, Chris Sharma as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.