I Got Life! - A charming & funny film with menopause at its heart!
Hot Flush celebrated International Women's Day at the British Film Institute. We'd been invited to a preview screening of a new film about the subject close to our hearts! Who’d have thought the new film, I Got Life, with the subject of menopause at its' core, could be so funny, poignant and such a genuinely uplifting, feel-good film?
We dragged one of the Mr. HF’s along, too! To be honest, he'd set the bar pretty low, we hadn't sold it well, ‘It's a subtitled French film about a woman going through the menopause’, we said. By now, he’s pretty fed up with the English version, (hearing more about it than most partners!). We think the idea of a free night at the BFI Southbank was what really appealed to him. Well, surprise, surprise, he gave it double thumbs up. He said it was just as entertaining for men who can totally empathise with the male characters' experiences whilst learning a thing or two about the intricacies of the female mind and the physical, the emotional and mental impact of hormones on women as they go through the various reproductive stages, particularly the big M!
Right from the off, we know that Aurore is suffering unexpected, challenging hot flushes and brain fog. She’s overly-hot and over-wrought as she tries to get on with life.
‘We have to be philosophical about this; after 30, it’s all downhill, you can’t keep fixing everything……you’ll just have to get used to it, that’s all’, says an ill-informed, male doctor to menopausal Aurore. She’s a 50-year-old woman facing tumultuous change, struggling with a combination of ageing and ageism, empty-nesting, unemployment and unexpected family news that she’s not quite ready to accept. It’s quite a list really but one that could resonate with many women as they hit middle-age, juggling life and menopause.
Instead of taking her doctor’s advice, or indulging in self-pity, Aurore takes a journey of re-discovery, often in the company of her sassy best friend, with the scenes between the two of them generating the most laughs. Friendship, female solidarity and love are key themes in the film. The role of Aurore is beautifully played by the 53-year-old actress, Agnès Jaoui, a woman clearly comfortable with her age.
Conflict, nostalgia and emotion are woven through with great humour, just as in real life. Aurore’s angsts will be familiar to many mid-life women; dealing with divorce, feeling invisible, re-establishing herself in the workplace, sex (her own as well as her daughters’) and the sense that she's no longer needed or attractive, as in her mother’s words, ‘when our stock has gone the shit hits the fan’. Aurore certainly doesn’t let her lack of eggs deter her as she grabs hold of life.
This is clever, laugh out loud and moving film beautifully captures the issues facing women across generations, from teenage daughters to liberated grannies. The film’s director, Blandine Lenoir, says she likes to tackle serious taboo subjects and the more serious the subject, the funnier she likes to make it. In I Got Life, she’s used her personal experience to grab the taboo subject of menopause with both hands and make a truly funny, joyful film.
It’s an unexpected delight to find this inevitable phase in every woman’s life portrayed as a new beginning. There really is something for everybody here, it ticked all the boxes; great character's, fab music and a teary moment which was also reported by Mr HF. You'll certainly leave the cinema feeling thoroughly entertained and uplifted. Go watch it with your girlfriends, partner, sister, mother or kids, but one thing's for sure, if it's on at a cinema near you, just go!
I Got Life (Aurore) is in UK cinemas on March 23rd. It's a Hot Flush 5 star film!