"Life doesn't scare me" presents an interesting cinema experience as it took several years to shoot so the main actresses could grow up. Director Noémie Lvovsky first shot a television film, "Petites" (see that entry), with the same characters, and later incorporated footage from the TV project into this film.
You have to understand the title as an ironical one, for "Life doesn't scare me" is about four teenage girls for whom life is nothing but scary. Emilie (Magali Woch), Inès (Ingrid Molinier), Stella (Julie-Marie Parmentier) and Marion (Camille Rousselet) are four friends who grow up in Paris in the late 70s and early 80s. School, parents, boyfriends, illness: some issues are difficult to handle but friendship can heal many wounds.
After "Petites", "Life doesn't scare me" deepens the study of these four endearing girls and their struggle with the ups and downs of adolescence and early adulthood. I could relate easily to "Petites" and its follow-up because of the fabulous re-creation of the late 70s and early 80s. Clothes, songs, habits and of course school life all look and sound true. To me, it was like traveling back in my school days memories. This tender patchwork of a film has obviously benefited from a wonderful cast (with its four remarkable young leads, a good support cast (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi shines as Emilie's mother, veteran Luis Rego is just fine as an aging Spanish immigrant), and even interesting small parts -- where you'll find future Cesar winner Emmanuelle Devos). No special effects, no jumping and running here, but a bittersweet chronicle, a sensitive approach to the feelings of young women. But don't expect a sad film nor a work filled with melancholy, it is on the contrary a fresh, sincere and often funny look on teenage years, those years filled with hope and anguish, laughter and tears, that most of the people remember later as the "good old days". Like "Petites", this film is also a good representative of the "New French Cinema". After this diptych, Noémie Lvovsky went on with her writing/directing career but interestingly enough, she is more and more successful as an actress today (more especially in "Actrices", directed by her friend Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and in "Les beaux gosses"/"The French Kissers").
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