Linda Cook review: ‘French Exit’ is quirky dramedy

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“French Exit” reminds me a lot of a Wes Anderson movie.

In fact, at first, I thought it *was* a Wes Anderson movie, because he has one on the way called “The French Dispatch,” which hasn’t come out yet.

But it’s not. The director is Azazel Jacobs, who also helmed the enjoyable, equally quirky “The Lovers.”It bears more than a passing resemblance to an Anderson film with its oddball assortment of characters. It has the feel of a period piece – its characters don’t spend time in front of screens little or large – but it’s set in contemporary times.

This is the story of Frances Price, with Michelle Pfeiffer in a fantastic role as a New York socialite used to living quite well.

Now, she discovers she is broke … or going broke.

Frances decides to take her grown son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges, “Boy Erased”) and move to Paris, where she plans to spend the rest of the money until it’s all gone.

If you were going broke, you’d take a cruise ship to Paris, right? At least that’s what Frances does, smuggling their cat along with her.

Once they get to Paris and a friend’s apartment where Frances plans to stay, they meet an oddball assortment of people with whom they become connected.

In the meantime, Malcolm’s girlfriend Susan (Imogen Poots, “The Father”) wants him to go away with her, but she realizes he won’t be able to do that.

Patrick DeWitt, who wrote the book on which this is based, wrote the screenplay.

I can’t say any of these characters are likeable – sometimes, they’re so eccentric they’re exasperating – but they always are interesting.

This is for fans of character-driven dramedies like Anderson’s (think “Rushmore” in particular.) It will be too strange for some, with just the right of amount of quirkiness for others.

3 stars

Running time: One hour and 53 minutes.

At Cinemark, Davenport.

Rated: R for foul language, sexual situations and brief violence.

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