I thought this film was going to be cheesy but Sophie Letourneur’s debut about a gaggle of well-off 20-year-old girls drinking, smoking, laughing, peeing and vomiting in Paris totally blew my mind. La Vie au Ranch is done in a verite style; no music, no explanations and a lot of competing dialogue. We’re just dumped into a series of scenes, with the girls cackling, fighting with their boyfriends on their cell phones and looking like total crap despite being beautiful. Their behaviour is disgusting but it’s also funny and compelling if you don’t have to hang out with them. The main character is Pam, who thinks her name makes her sound like a porn star. She’s blowing off all her classes and being a total gross slob. Manon is hooking up with a successful musician but she can still pull things together to get her hair in a bun for school. By the time the girls all decamp to the French countryside, it is clear that some want to keep up the endless party circuit while others are a bit more serious about the future.
This is nothing like any other French film I’ve seen and it’s got the energy and originality to really start another new movement in France. There are no remaining screenings of this film, which, confusingly, seems to be translated as Chicks in English.