My Golden Days is a film that will have you wondering if all French teens in the 80’s had such sophisticated, complicated, dramatic upbringings replete with insanity, pretension, unfounded confidence and the juggling of copious open relationships. It’s also a film with enough smoking to give the audience emphysema, abundant nostalgia, copious lingering profile shots and abrupt, unabashed declarations of desperate contradictory love and hate, occasionally delivered directly into the camera lens. 4th walls? Please, they are so gauche.
The film of observations (rather than lineally structured recognition, reversals and revelations) also had 1/2 a dozen or more sub plots that seemed to trail off unresolved; fading into the urban Parisian landscape. The amount of independence, lack of structure and degree of trouble these youths are exposed to is certainly entertaining in its own rite and the sound track was an unexpected, outstanding highlight. While not Avant Guard or even overly abstract exactly, there are some experimental cinematic things going on here and it definitely told a relatively unique story in a relatively unique way.
This is a film that you smile while watching, half because of its eye-rolling ridiculousness and half because it probably has substantial truth layered into it and you might be a bit jealous you didn’t grow up ½ as cool as these kids. Indeed, when the plot presents something seemingly terribly implausible, you may well be moved to throw up your hand, tilt your head back and exclaim “Ah Europe!” It’s just so quintessentially French and there’s reason to embrace it just for that aspect.
There are no more scheduled screenings unfortunately, and I’m not certain Western audiences will choose it as an encore favorite, but if you get an opportunity to see it, and you don’t take it too seriously, it’s worth a look. 3 ½ jewels out of 5 in the review tiara for an arty teenage romp.