Life is A Long Quiet River is a film known in France for its marketing and less for its comedic impact. The story is as old as time. Families have their babies swapped and now they have to defy class to set things right. But, how well can things be set right if one kid is treated like a criminal and the other as posh? Hilarity ensues in a way that only French 80s cinema can provide.
French cinema has taken a black eye in recent weeks with some Netflix offering. We’ll be reviewing that a later date, but I wanted to point something out to the casual viewers. Life is A Long Quiet River gets celebrated for being this novel attempt to thumb the nose at French suburban life.
However, it just feels flat. Some jokes work, but the majority of the material is dated but also not as clever as it might seem. What is the fodder for sitcoms told through a mature lens doesn’t make it smart. It seems to be a cultural play, but I’m not a French person in 1988. I can’t measure the impact this must have had on audiences.
Arrow Films brings a Blu-ray that I don’t think any other outlet would’ve released. You get archival interviews that provide a historical context for the narrative. But, Life is A Long Quiet River feels more like a saved artifact than overall satisfying film. Kudos to Arrow Academy for giving Life is A Long Quiet River the kind of release that most foreign film miss in the HD and 4K eras.