All seems A-OK in the life of young French party monster Ludo (Jean Dujardin) — until, in the astonishing opening to French director Guillaume Canet’s latest, he’s plowed over by a truck while taking a late-night joyride on his scooter. While Ludo’s laid up in the hospital, the poor lad’s friends carelessly go ahead with a planned vacation. But the trip quickly turns into a nightmare when revealed secrets afford the travelers a one-way ticket to crazy town.
Among the most memorable storylines is that of charming Vincent (Benoît Magimel), who realizes he has a crush on arrogant restaurant owner Max (François Cluzet), sending the latter — who’s on the trip with his wife — into a fit of wall-smashing rage. Marion Cotillard also pulls out a noteworthy performance as headstrong stoner Marie, whose rebellious antics make her the perfect foil for the narcissistic men surrounding her.
Unfortunately, most of the other character threads — a lot of grown men whining over failed romances — are lame-o, causing the bulk of the film to drag. The flick is saved, however, when bad news from home reaches the group, a discovery that pulls everyone together and humanizes these otherwise frigid bourgeoisie. Little White Lies may suffer from a few snags, but a solid-punch of a beginning and the cast’s eventual revelations about the selfishness of their actions make the muddy island excursion worth the ticket.