Mon bébé [Sweetheart] (2019)

Mon bébé
Director: Lisa Azuelos
Writer: Lisa Azuelos, Thierry Teston, Thaïs Alessandrin
Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Thaïs Alessandrin, Victor Belmondo, Mickaël Lumière, Camille Claris, Kyan Khojandi, Arnaud Valois, Patrick Chesnais, Yvan Attal
Seen on: 30.7.2019

Héloïse (Sandrine Kiberlain) has been doing things on her own for a while and she managed to raise three children as a single mom, and owns a restaurant to boot. It’s been a stressful life, but one she loved. Now her youngest daughter Jade (Thaïs Alessandrin) is about to fly the coop: She is preparing to go to Canada to study. As the date of her departure draws nearer, it throws Héloïse into an existential crisis that makes saying goodbye for both of them even harder.

Mon bébé is an entertaining portrait of a mother-daughter relationship. It’s a good watch, but it didn’t completely wow me.

The film poster showing Héloïse (Sandrine Kiberlain) hugging her daughter Jade (Thaïs Alessandrin), both with big smiles on their faces.

Mon bébé definitely captures the mother-daughter relationship on which it focuses. It is finely observed and very close to its characters, especially Héloïse. I wouldn’t have minded if we got a bit more from Jade’s perspective, but then again Kiberlain is so good, I can understand why you’d stick with her. The important thing is that it’s easy to understand both characters, though, and that’s certainly the case.

The film makes sure to show us what a great mother Héloïse is, quickly working through any and all conflicts that arise. A little less “supermom” and a little more fighting would have worked for the film and the characters, too, and would have given the film a bit of an edge.

Jade (Thaïs Alessandrin) hugging Héloïse (Sandrine Kiberlain) from behind.

I’m not just calling for edges for edges’ sake – the film does have some lengths, and those conflicts could have served to increase the tension that I felt was a little lacking sometimes. It’s not boring, it just feels longer than it is.

What it lacks in tension maybe, it makes up for in structure: by being not entire chronological, the film gives itself a fresh note (though not so fresh that you’d call it revolutionary). When all is said and done, it is not a clear winner of a film, but it is clearly above average and a pretty good watch.

Héloïse (Sandrine Kiberlain) taking a selfie with her daughter Jade (Thaïs Alessandrin).

Summarizing: cute.

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