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Movie Review: Netflix's 'MILF' Is A Mighty, Interesting, Little, Film

MILF  Marie-Josée Croze Sonia Virginie Ledoyen Cécile Axelle Laffont Elise
Image by Single Man Productions / StudioCanal / Nexus Factory

If you desire a light vacation to France, then the recent Netflix release “MILF” has you covered. The 2018 film breaks away from its genre counterparts to create something that recalls so many other movie experiences with nuances that splendidly set it apart.

“MILF” follows three friends – Sonia (Marie-Josée Croze), Cécile (Virginie Ledoyen), and Elise (Axelle Laffont, who also directs) -- as they pack up the widowed Cécile’s vacation home. There is extraordinarily little packing as the trio encounter a corresponding threesome of early 20-something guys who go gaga for the women. From its outset, it is clear that “MILF” takes these guys’ intentions seriously.

The ensuing relationships teem with varying degrees of potential. In truth, most of the men are mismatched in terms of their goals or desires with the women they pursue. If one coupling had switched partners, I could have seen all of the pairings working out. Otherwise, it is all driven by lust.

That said, “MILF” is every bit as defensive of the young men’s “honor” as it is that of the women. The argument that the men are more mature than they get credit for seems inaccurate. Meanwhile, the teasing that the “MILF” trio gives a wonderful woman makes an opinion on their goodness sag dramatically. Otherwise, “MILF” is an entertaining film about a buzzy topic -- May-December relationships.

“MILF” addresses similar issues broached in 2005’s memorable “Prime.” In it, a therapist learns her son is dating an older woman (who is also her patient), and subsequently attempts to end the relationship. “MILF” is a lot more light-heightened than that film and “Adore.” To its credit, “MILF” avoids hitting the controversial mark that made “Adore” so unsettling. It is here to have fun more than anything else.

“MILF” is more in the vein of “Little White Lies” in terms of having a vacation as the throughline to its interpersonal drama. Despite its considerable runtime, the pacing works to keep “MILF” sailing along without dragging. It is a flirty movie that builds the romance/infatuation between its characters without feeling rushed.

All of this said, with the exception of Cécile and the captivated 20-somethings Julien (Matthias Dandois) and Markus (Victor Meutelet, “The Bonfire of Destiny”), the other characters are not all that likable on paper. As mentioned above, one particularly troubling plot finds the trio of female friends (led by Elise) to make fun of a perfectly nice woman during the movie, only to buddy-up to her later on. 

They quietly learn their lesson in privately mistreating her, but an apology or better-defined show of remorse would have been welcome. Thankfully, the casting of warm and charismatic actors keeps the fun in the sun from going cold. All told, “MILF” is a mighty interesting little film. See what I did there?

Rating: 6/10

MILF” is currently streaming on Netflix as an original alongside lots of other movies.

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