News flash: Life for older, affluent white people is just as difficult in France as it is in the United States. Non-news flash: The solution to that difficulty in France is the same as the American solution. Fuck someone younger.
That’s what happens when Caroline (Fanny Ardant, radiant as ever), a dentist, retires abruptly after her best friend dies. She’s also angry at her dentist husband for making her whiten teeth. Quel dommage!
Caroline is adrift, and her daughters sign her up for a membership at Bright Days Ahead, a local senior center. There she meets Julien (Laurent Lafitte), a 40-ish computer class-teachin’, young broad-bonin’ lothario who takes an interest in her dental and boudoir skills.
That plot description is glib, but Bright Days Ahead doesn’t warrant anything deeper. At least the audience gets to look at Ardant for 94 minutes, and she’s much better than the script deserves. And not that Lafitte is unattractive—he’s also a fine actor—but he’s no Romain Duris. The older woman-younger man twist that ain’t so novel doesn’t make up for the limp comedy and barely there drama.
Skip Bright Days Ahead. Re-watch The Woman Next Door.
BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD
Directed by Marion Vernoux
With Ardant, Lafitte and Patrick Chesnais