Let The Sunshine In, is a French romcom starring Juliette Binoche. The film develops themes around the possibility of a relationship that satisfies ‘on all levels’ (sur tous les plans). The only character that has succeeded here isn’t talking about it, whereas everyone else is busy analysing, advising and verbalising. At one stage Isabelle embraces her potential new lover and blurts out: ‘Thank God we’ve stopped talking!’. That elusive object of desire is always on a receding horizon that seems even more inaccessible for those on the other side of fifty. Isabelle’s quest for inter-personal happiness provides witty insights into post-modern courtship rituals, the ambiguities of language, the counter-assertions of silence and hesitation and the constant need to interrogate (and be interrogated about) one’s feelings.
Juliette Binoche, now in her fifties and as beautiful as ever, brings a wide range of emotions to the role as she moves from one lover to the next and becomes increasingly disenchanted. When she finds a moment of fulfilment with a man outside her class, her friends ensure that the affair will be short-lived, doomed by the words of others (‘Do you see his friends? Has he met your friends?’). Isabelle finally seeks advice from a rascally charlatan, played beautifully in a cameo by Gerard de Pas-de-Deux, as the Americans call him. His ‘professional’ opinion Dangling a bob-line over photos of Isabelle’s exes!) is for her to ‘let a little sunshine in’ despite the likelihood that all present and future relationships will disappoint. Unless, of course, she finds someone more… ‘solid and substantial’ (sub-text: like me!). The comedy is bitter-sweet, the upper-class Parisian society nicely drawn, the minor characters with just enough opacity to make them interesting.