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SHOOTING STARS (Le Ciel est à Nous)(director/writer: Graham Guit; screenwriter: Eric Neve; cinematographer: Olivier Carriou; editor: Jean-Guy Montpetite; music: Eddie Sauter; cast: Melvil Poupaud (Lenny), Romane Bohringer (Juliette), Jean-Philippe Ecoffey (Joel), Isaac Sharry (Sammy), Jean-Claude Flamand (Claudius), Patrick Lizana (Ficelle); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Frederic Robbes/Eric Neve; Canal Plus; 1997-France, in French with English subtitles)
“Strictly for the shooting stars.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This first feature of the 29-year-old director Graham Guit, which he writes with Eric Neve, tries awfully hard to be an innocent spoof on the drug genre films. It tries too hard to be cute. Instead, it turns into an inane and unappealing violent parody, whose lead characters are dull. The slight story is about a yokel played by Melvil Poupaud as the Frenchman Lenny who tries to pull a fast one on two established drug dealers, the dashing Joel (Ecoffey) and the violent Sammy (Sharry), lacing the coke he is selling with talcum powder, when he travels from London to Paris. The drug king Joel’s girlfriend Juliette (Romane), who was supposed to lay a trap to fleece Lenny of the drugs, instead falls for him and they double-cross the dealers and split together with the suitcase holding the cash. Only when they check the suitcase do they find instead of cash many vials of the valuable but difficult to unload drug Special K, as Juliette picked up the wrong suitcase in her hurry. In pursuit are the drug dealers as the couple tries to sell their stash, after separating, to raise money for an escape. Their true love is expressed when they both meet as planned in San Pedro de Atama, Chile, and look at the shooting stars together.

Strictly for the shooting stars. It’s another Tarantino-esque kitsch setup rife with what passes for bold wit but no substance. The moral of the story might be: drug deals bring people closer together.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”