|Dominique Pinon and Delphine Bronzi in Holidays by the Sea|
|Dominique Pinon in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Micmacs|
|Maria de Medeiros and Jacques Gamblin in Holidays by the Sea|
Holidays by the Sea operates mostly as a critique of bourgeois life, using the vacation as a way to playfully pull off the thin veil of religious convictions that the characters adhere to, in varying degrees, within their workaday lives. The film uses a clever array of characterizations to bounce this critique off of, from a fetishist who suffers being tied to a bed frame at the cost of seeking his kicks (which includes using a certain orifice as a vase for a bouquet of rose stems), to the central couple of the film, an aging, overweight pair that rediscover a bit of their passion for one another amid the confines of a cultural construct that they have learned to fit into through routine, although they barely fit into it physically. Campsite families mingle and gather for cocktails, couples swap partners, and teenagers have their first sexual encounters while the adults play. Although all of this may sound kind of expected, the inspired visual storytelling keeps Holidays afloat for it's brief 77-minute running time. It ultimately doesn't need to be anything more than what it is, though on a level of ideas, what it is might strike you as being a bit more substantial than what you expect.
Up Next: Wim Wenders comes to Chicago to introduce his new 3-D dance film, Pina