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When The Cat's Away  

Us feline-admirers out there might appreciate this film a bit more than the sadly deprived rest of the world. The film is called When The Cat's Away, a French film from a couple of years ago, and as its title indicates, the story is what happens to a woman during her cat's absence. Gris-Gris goes missing, actually, when, upon returning from a trip, its owner discovers that the cat-sitter (an old lady in a run-down apartment with cats crawling all over the place) has been unable to find it for days. This unfortunate experience forces her to go on a desperate search, by putting up posters, as well as receiving help and support from an apparent network of elderly women who evidently have a scientific understanding of the psychology of lost kittens.

Of course, the film is not just about the cat, but is an excuse for a bit of self-discovery on the part of the woman, who appears as if nothing exciting ever happens to her. Due to the connections she makes while looking for her cat, she meets many different people, including of course the elderly ladies, as well as a slightly dim but lovable man who obviously has a crush on her. She also has an eventful evening when, exchanging her plain wardrobe for a more provocative (for her) outfit, she hangs out at the clubs and realizes the darker sides of many people, including those who she thought were her friends. Her time of self-discovery allows her to determine what sort of life she truly wants to lead, and what company she truly wants to keep.

This is a easygoing film, presenting the day-to-day lives of ordinary people, this case, in Paris. Nothing extremely dramatic happens, at least not for people who can't stay awake unless something blows up. And everything resolves itself in an acceptable if not earth-shattering fashion. Without giving away the ending, I wonder if perhaps the next time its owner goes on a trip, Gris-Gris should be in the care of someone a bit more attentive to its whereabouts.

David Macdonald

David Macdonald's Movie Reviews

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