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Rental Unit: "Look at Me"

Lolita's plight is not enviable. Everyone comments on her weight. étienne repeatedly calls her "daddy's big girl." Jaoui, who also directs, has made her a talented singer, but diffident and distrustful of others. In fact, none of Jaoui and Bacri's characters come off very well. With Sylvia's motives already in question, her sensitive, talented husband shows he is no saint either, shrugging his shoulders when étienne insults his wife.

If there's a gripe, "Look at Me" winds up a bit muddily. Its naturalistic characters seem to be reaching for resolutions the filmmakers fail to find for them. Lolita, for example, learns that not everyone is out to use her, but what we are supposed to gather from her discovery is frustratingly vague.

What "Look at Me" does right is forgo the coming-of-age story in favor of a refreshing one about real people. They are so interesting, it's tempting to watch them fade out with the hope that Jaoui and Bacri will make a sequel. At least it's not too much to ask that they return with more stories very soon. — Wayne Melton

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