Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Frances, a wealthy socialite, who, after years of spending binges and avoiding the warnings of her money manager, is broke. Selling whatever assets remain, she takes the cash and flees to Paris with her young son, Malcom, played by Lukas Hedges, to stay, for free, at a rich friend’s empty apartment. She also brings along a black cat, which she appears to hate but still has emotional ties.
The ticking clock for the rest of the story is the slow but inexorable use of the remaining money. Along the way, she and Malcolm collect a classical set of quirky archetypes. Then, the story takes a hard-left turn into Magical Reality. None of this crossed my suspension of disbelief. The problem, ONCE AGAIN, is that inside this two-hour slog is a sharp witty comedy, at least a half-hour shorter, trying to get out. The premise holds up that rich people are just different than the rest of us – until you scrape away the veneer.
FRENCH EXIT, in limited theatrical release, while over-wrought, is saved by fine performances and unexpected twists.