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What would you do when you are sixty and your career (also a very good one) is over? Is it the beginning of the best time of your life? Or does it mean that your "bright days" came to an end?
For Caroline (still very much charming and seductive Fanny Ardant) one world has ended when she sold her share in a dentistry business and decided to retire. What does the new world have in store?
She joins the club called BRIGHT DAYS for the people like her - with some money, too much time on their hands and craving for human contact. Caroline is married but her husband is as distant as ever - and still employed. Seeking someone who would appreciate her beauty Caroline falls into the arms of the thirty something computer teacher. As their affair gets complicated Caroline realizes that the only way for her to carry on with life is to finally find her place under the sun.
BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD is a sober look at aging generation, probably the last lot in this century who can afford to retire at sixty (this is a line from the film). The writers examine with healthy sarcasm and no judgement the relationship between people with large age gap, and leaving only the truth as authors see it fit.
What’s interesting about BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD is that the film is very even, with barely few moments of sadness and just a couple of laughs. Fanny Ardant’s character is probably the most beautiful dentist you would ever meet. She is decisive, adventurous and selfish. We do not know who she had been before she retired. But do we love this new woman? Probably, not so much.
With no real emotions at play (in the end Caroline is driven by passion, not love which is made very clear at various points in the film) there’s no high stakes: we know that her relationship with a younger man will end at some point and we do not care if she keeps her marriage. What works well for the movie is how the viewer can identify with Caroline. Most women in similar situation will reply the same way Caroline’s daughter did in the film, when she had learned about her mother’s folly: “I would have a lover. But I have no time or courage for this.”
So let’s leave all this silliness to the film. And lets face it, BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD is a little bit silly.