Milf review – a banal French cougar comedy without the wildcat’s teeth Growing old gracelessly

1.5

Summary

Milf (Netflix) wants to be both funny and sexy but manages neither, and has nothing of value to say about relationships, getting older, or… well, anything, really.

This review of Milf (Netflix) is spoiler-free.


It isn’t a good day for Netflix. With its woeful new thriller Fatal Affair hogging most of the limelight, the French cougar comedy Milf could have made a nice counterpoint were it any good. Unfortunately, though, it’s dreadful, trying desperately to be both funny and sexy and ending up being neither, while saying nothing of value about older women, younger men, or growing old gracelessly.

The setup is simple enough. Cécile (Virginie Ledoyen), a forty-something widower, ventures to the South of France to empty and sell her house with the help of long-time high-school friends Elise (Milf’s director Axelle Laffont) and Sonia (Marie-Josée Croze). While enjoying the Riviera they attract the attention of the much younger Paul (Waël Sersoub), Julien (Matthias Dandois), and Markus (Victor Meutelet), all handsome athletic types with a thing for older women. Sunny shenanigans ensue.

Milf is slightly reminiscent of the 2017 Reese Witherspoon rom-com Home Again, although rather than have three youngsters fight over the attentions of one woman Laffont pairs everyone up early and never really challenges the dynamics after that. It’s also trying to be a much edgier film, with frequent sex scenes and coarser dialogue, but neither come off as intended; the lovey-dovey scenes can’t decide if they want to be romantic or cringingly awful, and the boys’ post-match analysis just seems plain disrespectful – although it can’t be said that the women are much nicer about their conquests either.

Milf (Netflix) review – a banal French cougar comedy without any teeth

This is mostly in service of some rather obvious points about older women and younger men. It’s frequently played for laughs how the lads are full of themselves but have gleaned most of their sexual knowledge from **** and don’t really know what they’re doing, whereas the women, while benefitting from the power dynamic, can’t help but inadvisably fall for their much younger and quite obviously temporary flings. Nobody gets a flattering portrait here, which is supposed to be the point, but what the film mistakes for honesty is undermined by the luxurious party aesthetic feeling very much like the kind of thing you only see in the movies.

The boring truth about relationships, even intergenerational ones, is that some work and some don’t. Milf arrives at this obvious conclusion rather limply, and it hardly seems worth the effort to get there. The runtime’s only 90 minutes but feels a lot longer since it’s mostly comprised of interminable scenes of partying, sex, and banal conversations in the aftermath of the partying and sex. Once or twice the film threatens to do something interesting with the enduring female friendship at its core, since Cécile becomes increasingly frustrated and disapproving of her friends’ cavalier behavior, but it all gets ironed out in the space of, like, one scene, and even the kids getting involved goes swimmingly well.

This frictionless narrative is a chore to sit through, even more so since all the characters are blandly good-looking and athletic and heterosexual and stereotypical – you get the sense you wouldn’t care even if they were a bit more interesting, but they’re not, so you don’t have to think about it too much. The same can be said of Milf as a whole, which is probably just as well.


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Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.

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