Whether you are a first time reader, long time reader, first time listener or long time listener – we are exceptionally different than most publications on the internet. We create content which meets people at their passions and at their seasons of life BUT we do it with the heart to let them know that they have value and worth. That tomorrow is always worth holding onto and that there is always hope. Recently, I had the chance to speak at an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness walk for a few moments. I shared a bit of my own story. This year marks 11 years – yes, 11 years – since I gave weight to a little fantasy called suicide. I knew exactly how I wanted it done, what my suicide note was going to say and what my motivation for it was going to be.
If you’ve ever gone through depression, be honest, did you ever give thought to how you would kill yourself? What your suicide note would say or what your reasoning was? That’s exactly the subject of the French film, Emma Peeters. The film chronicles the final week of a failing actress who decides to commit suicide but ultimately finds love along the way. In an odd sense, Peeters is a deeply profound character study that over time slowly develops into a romantic comedy. Which given the subject material of the film feels weird to say. However, its’ oddly enough one of the strongest factors for the film. The film manages to remain honest but light heartened.
Conveying to audiences that its’ okay not to be okay. Even you think it could be the end, that there is always a reason to continue on. Such is struggle for the lead actress, Monia Chokri, as she comes to terms with the accidental romance she has found herself in. Chokri delivers a profoundly honest depiction of depression and mental health. Beautifully conveying how society standards effect our mental health – especially in women. Fabrice Adde is our leading man who also again comes against the convention of what we’ve come to expect from leading men. He’s clumsy, yet charming. He’s not conventionally attractive, but he’s genuine. The chemistry between the two actors are nothing short of brilliant. The two have an explosive connection which literally breaths life into its charm.
For the most part, that charm is enduring. Though, sometimes it can run out. There are a couple of sequences within the film which randomly break into song. Not only are both songs American but also come against the tone of the film. Largely feeling out of place from what the majority of the film is trying to do. While at its core, the film chronicles the journey of Emma, Alex and their blossoming (& unexpected) romance; it feels as if to stop for certain characters. While I understand the agreement for giving characters sidekicks to make them feel more complete. These characters pour nothing into the larger narrative. They seem to exist more for shock factor than actual narrative purpose. In short, they feel empty.
Overall, Emma Peeters, is an incredible achievement in filmmaking. Brilliantly presenting a character study of woman on the verge of suicide that slowly transforms into a charming, romantic comedy – its’ unbelievably well-done. The film boasts strong performances from its leads in Monia Chokri & Fabrice Adde. Ushering in a film that not only wins with their terrific chemistry but also advances because of their connection. However, the film is held back due to some poor character decisions and tonal difficulties. Still, this French darling, is one to hunt down and watch. It’s charming, satisfying, honest and profoundly beautiful.
And more importantly, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, addiction, self-harm or depression - please free feel to reach out. Use any our resources, call the suicide lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or text 741-741.
Credits: Emma Peeters is property of K-Films Amerique. We do not own nor claim any rights. This is an official selection of Lost Weekend XII.