A Film About Friendship: “Nous finirons ensemble”

from Trésor Films | UniFrance

On the 10-hour flight home from my recent trip to Europe (in February 2020 – before the pandemic), I watched four movies including a French comedy-drama called, Nous finirons ensemble (“We’ll end up together”). Its title in English is Little White Lies 2 and it’s the sequel to Les petits mouchoirs, which was released in 2010.

The sequel starts with the same group of friends from the original surprising their friend, Max, by showing up at his beach house on his birthday.

Well, the surprise was on them.

It turns out that Max (played by François Cluvet) has a secret weighing heavily on his mind. Understandably, he was in no mood to party.

As the film progresses, each of the other characters reveals a little secret about themselves.

I won’t give away details, but I will say that I liked Marion Cotillard’s performance as rebellious Marie and Tatiana Gousseff’s role as Catherine, the strict nanny.

I also love the movie’s soundtrack, which includes throwbacks like, “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.

Do you tell little white lies?

Before my trip, I told very few people about my travel plans. Is that a little white lie? Some would call it “lying by omission.” Others would describe this as “moving in silence.” These expressions sound so sneaky and deceptive, don’t they?

It wasn’t (and never is) my intention to be a stealthy or secretive ninja or anything like that. I’m not overly superstitious, but in my experience, plans fall through when I speak of them, especially at the ideation stage!

Besides, isn’t it a much better feeling to say “I did it” than to say “I’m going to do it”? Actions speak louder than words.

Speaking of taking action, I’d say go watch Nous finirons ensemble. You don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy this one. It’s a movie about friendship — and all the good, messy, and funny parts that come with it.

The skydiving scenes looked fun, too.

Oh no, have I said too much?

🎞 Watch the film’s trailer (with English subtitles) on YouTube here >> Little White Lies 2 / Nous finirons ensemble (2019) – Trailer (English Subs)

As of this writing, this film is available to stream on iTunes and canalplus.com

Let These TV Show Episodes Transport You to France

While actual travel is out of the question for now, you can still indulge your fantasies of traveling to France.

For example, you can watch French movies. You can watch travel videos. You can view French museum exhibitions online. You can strap on a virtual reality headset and get a bird’s-eye view of various chateaux in the lush French countryside. You can read Francophile blogs. 😉

These days, I’m doing a bit of armchair traveling by watching a few lighthearted TV shows with French-inspired episodes!

Here are some of my favorites:

Friends (Season 10, Episode 13) – “The One Where Joey Speaks French”

Joey needs to learn French for a role he’s auditioning for and Phoebe offers to teach him:

How I Met Your Mother (Season 9, Episode 16)

This flashback episode is from the show’s final season:

Key & Peele on Comedy Central – “French Restaurant”

A man tries to impress his date with his knowledge of French language and cuisine:

The Late Late Show with James Corden – “Crosswalk the Musical in Paris: Les Misérables”

The funny talk show host and his theatre company perform a famous French musical (in English) in a crosswalk with a view of the Arc de Triomphe:

Modern Family (Season 11, Episode 13) – “Paris”

The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan heads to the City of Light. Here’s Mitchell trying to fit in:

The Office (US adaptation; Season 5, Episode 8) – “Frame Toby”

Dwight describes his perfect crime involving the Trocadéro:

Tiny House World on FYI Television Network (Season 1, Episode 5) – “Petit Chateau in Paris”

Follow Shari from Brooklyn, New York to Paris, as she looks for her new home in Le Marais:

I hope these TV shows with French-inspired episodes will make you smile. I’m hopeful things will be back to normal soon. Until then, take care and stay safe.

📺

* YouTube videos | All rights reserved

Like I’ve Been There Before: ‘Friends’ 25th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience in San Francisco

Fans of the hit comedy, Friends, will have a blast at the show’s 25th Anniversary pop-up that recently opened in downtown San Francisco!

view of Market Street from the second floor of One Powell

Located inside the AT&T Flagship Store at One Powell (in front of the Cable Car Turnaround), visitors can enjoy two floors of interactive digital displays, view actual props and costumes used on the show, and step into recreated show sets, like Central Perk and Monica & Rachel’s apartment in West Village.

It was my first time at the Friends 25th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience, but the spot-on sets and familiar memorabilia on display made me feel… like I’d been there before!

not sure why I’m knocking here – after all, I’m “inside” apartment 20!

Enjoy two floors of interactive displays:

Look through the peephole and view a short clip from the show:

Record your cover of Phoebe’s famous song, “Smelly Cat”:

Read lines from scripts:

Visit the mini Friends museum with real costumes and props from the show:

Chandler’s Halloween costume

the award that Joey stole, plus Rachel’s wedding garter

Find Friends-themed merch at the Friends Boutique:

Check out the couch that Ross, Rachel, and Chandler tried to carry upstairs:

… and the fountain and orange couch from the opening credits:

Central Perk:

Watch the video for the Friends’ theme song here (from YouTube – All rights reserved) >

Your Friends will be there for you, but this Pop-Up will be in San Francisco for a limited time! ☕️

Are you a big Friends fan like me? If I had to pick a favorite character, I’d pick Phoebe (she’s kind, plays guitar, and speaks French)! Who’s your favorite Friends character? Tell me in the comments below!

“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” at Altarena Playhouse

When I heard the local theatre was putting on a play set in Montmartre in Paris, my Francophile ears perked up like a nimble little bunny’s ears!

According to the playbill, Steve Martin wrote “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” in 1993, but this production would incorporate updates from his 2017 revival version.

Set in 1904, the play imagines the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso and German-born theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein having a lively debate about what they think the 20th century will bring. Of course, each man thinks he will change the world with his art and science, respectively.

The pre-show announcer said over the PA system that the play would be performed in English and “without accents” like the French one he was affecting.

I’m not sure if Monsieur Martin wrote it that way or if creative license was used by the Altarena Playhouse in Alameda, California, a cozy theatre-in-the-round. Regardless, it worked for me – it was hilarious.

history of Lapin Agile Cabaret in Paris

Crispian Bakery, a small-batch bakery that produces French-inspired American breads and pastries in Alameda, provided refreshments with a suggested donation of $2 per item. I got a chocolate chip cookie with coffee and my daughter opted for a ginger cookie. She said it tasted like Christmas!

As we settled in, they played Pink Martini’s song, “Sympathique,” as well as accordion music. The sweet melody helped set the mood — it made me feel like I was in Paris!

The character, Sagot, snaps a photograph of his fellow bar patrons

Along with the leads, Asher Krohn (Picasso) and Peter Marietta (Einstein), my favorite performances were by Jean Cary, who played three roles (Suzanne; The Countess; Female Admirer).

Without spoiling the ending, I want to mention that I didn’t particularly enjoy the part toward the end when, after brief smoke and light effects, The Visitor, appears.

It was a bit cheesy visually, but I could grasp the social commentary being made: It was suggested that The Visitor, doing something less profound, would experience greater fame than either of the geniuses, Picasso and Einstein, despite their world-changing contributions!

The playwright promoting his play

Without a doubt, Steve Martin is a genius himself, with comedic acting roles, like one of the obnoxious Wild & Crazy Guys from Saturday Night Live and the likable Dad in the “Father of the Bride” and “Cheaper By the Dozen” movies.

He’s also a talented dramatic actor. In the 2001 dark comedy called “Novocaine,” Steve Martin portrays a dentist who leads an ordinary life until he is seduced by a patient. It’s one of my favorite films and not only because a couple of characters in the film move to France. I promise!

Although it doesn’t hurt having a French setting, like in “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”!

I visited Montmartre in May 2018. Can you spot the actual “Cabaret Au Lapin Agile”?

Have you seen any good plays lately? Do you like Steve Martin movies and plays? Tell me in the comments below!