This movie could just as well be entitled ‘The Games People Play’. Little White Lies is a entertaining look at a group of friends who take a summer vacation together while one of their circle lies in a hospital bed after an untimely accident. Each of the characters embroiled in this gathering is well portrayed and engaging, albeit at times ignoble, self-centered or comically ridiculous. The story, however, is not without pathos and there are scenes that will make you howl and/or cry.
What becomes of interest is how each character deals with the cards they have been dealt, or more correctly stated, that they have dealt themselves. Their little white lies are, in effect, their ongoing defense mechanisms against each other and self, perpetuated by their own denial. The movie becomes influential when we see the characters dealing with a range of emotions stemming from not facing their own reality. If only (one wishes during this two and half hour tale) they would stand in their truth about their feelings and situations – (but do stay to the end). Instead, they become further entrenched in maintaining their deceptions so as not to lose face with each other – to the detriment of self, of course.
A central figure Max, played by François Cluzet of The Intouchables, is the owner of a successful restaurant and the beach house where the ensemble stays. As a married man he is unnerved and distraught when one his male friends professes love for him – and a range of other emotions and situations follow. Whether this love is an infatuation or homosexual or agape love, you decide. Max cannot accept it and much drama and comedy ensues. It does raise the issue of how one man may love another and express it openly without it stirring a homophobic reaction.
There are more twists and turns and some unexpected moments to come. Searching for love and a bed partner are a recurrent theme throughout these interactive tussles. Theit vacation draws to a close and each of the characters has a personal denouement followed by a redeeming group catharsis. Enjoy this dramatic end of summer movie. It’s worth seeing.