Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) is a melancholic tale of an older female divorcee and her search for love. Juliette Binoche plays Isabelle, an older single woman who just wants to fall in love after leaving the father of her daughter. She is plagued with the fear that she will never fall in love again, so she tries to start romantic relationships with a number of men, including a banker, an actor and even a stranger on the dance floor. All of which are either too self-absorbed or married to really see Isabelle’s worth.
Let the Sunshine In feels like a coming-of-age film, where these older characters are still on the quest to find themselves. The scenes of Isabelle’s sexual encounters are as awkward as portrayals of young people just beginning their sexual journey. The beauty of this film is its honest portrayal of adult dating and loneliness, without being too pessimistic.
The film closes with Isabelle still on her own but questioning which one of her suitors will sheend up with. She finds herself in a therapy session with a psychic relationship therapist, played by Gerard Depardieu, who tells her to be emotionally “open” which humorously comes across as him asking her to consider him as a potential partner. It leaves the audience feeling quite frustrated with Isabelle and her obsession with finding love, as it feels like she has not progressed or developed as a character during the course of the film.
All in all, Let The Sunshine In is beautifully shot and poignantly depicts older female singledom in an honest and real way. However, it does feel like a typical romantic comedy where the heroine cannot be happy unless she finds the love her life and that storyline feels quite overdone.
Images via Alliance Française French Film Review