Bright Days Ahead Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: For recent retiree Caroline (Fanny Ardant) a new life of freedom and opportunity lies before her: time to take care of her children, her husband, and most of all, to finally take care of herself. But while her peers at the local seniors’ club pass the time with ceramics and amateur theater, she finds a new hobby of her own between the sheets with the center’s computer teacher Julien (Laurent Lafitte), a carefree ladies man decades her junior. The couple set rules for their affair, but Caroline seems to like courting danger, taking her lover to places she knows they might be seen and telling lies to her husband (Patrick Chesnais) that could easily be discovered. As Caroline finds herself in the midst a second youth – taking a new lover, living new experiences, breaking the rules, not doing what’s expected of her – will her retirement mark the beginning of the end for her marriage, or a new beginning? [Tribeca Film] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Leah Greenblatt
    Apr 23, 2014
    83
    The script is wispy, but the performances (including Patrick Chesnais as Caroline’s prideful, devastated husband) shine.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Apr 26, 2014
    70
    The well-observed script touches on a number of everyday issues about the aging process — whether you're pushing 40 or passing 60 — that add a tender and enlightening layer to this engaging, leisurely paced film.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 1, 2014
    67
    Even if her turn in Bright Days Ahead feels overly familiar, especially after Deneuve's recent "On My Way," Ardant is still possessed of the same Gallic poise and presence, and generally a joy to watch.
  4. Reviewed by: Katherine Vu
    Apr 22, 2014
    60
    Ultimately, this is all about Caroline, and it's refreshing to see an optimistic story about an older woman who is funny, smart, and desirable, even if her happy life doesn't leave much room for conflict.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 8, 2014
    60
    Bright Days Ahead offers an interesting twist on the May-December romance.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Apr 24, 2014
    50
    Struggling to get out from under the film’s too-cheery surface is a much more serious movie about grown-ups confronting the depredations of old age.
  7. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Apr 22, 2014
    40
    Bright Days Ahead means to be a casual, charming movie about a woman taking charge of her life, but its lightness gets unbearable; the film is so featherweight that it eventually blows away.

See all 8 Critic Reviews