Netflixable? Of course the French know what “MILF” stands for

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It’s almost a relief to learn that the French can make a sex farce as crude, clumsy and obvious as its title.

Does “MILF” leave anything to the imagination? No.

It took six credited screenwriters to concoct this “romance” about “women of a certain age” showing off their perfect bikini bodies on the beaches of the South of France and luring cut, rich young boors who give sailing lessons there.

At least when Jennifer Coolidge introduced the world to the acronym — via “American Pie” — she was aloof, funny and harder to get.

Cecile, played by Virginie Ledoyen, has just lost her husband Laurent, and has enlisted pals Sonia (Marie-Josée Croze) and Elise (Axelle Laffont, who also co-wrote and directed this) to help her clean and prep for sale a family beach house on the Med.

Cecile may be in mourning, but the solemn mood is broken when one of them chooses to flash the rude, aggressive young punks tailgating them on the drive down.

Sonia has carried on her “bad habits from high school.” She’s dating a married man.

Elise is ready to put Cecile on a dating/hook-up app.

But Cecile is the modest one, sad and it turns out, naive. She’s the one who’s ever heard what the acronym MILF stands for. Well, at least they’re not “cougars,” they reassure themselves. Besides, Cecile sighs (in French, with English subtitles). “a widow of my age (Ledoyen is 44), no one is interested.”

It’s just that randy college-age Paul (Waël Sersoub) and Julien (Matthias Dandois) ARE interested. They are cocky, confident and cut, so good looking that Laffont throws a little animation and “oooga-oooga” effect in to mark the ladies’ reaction to the hunks across the harbor.  Subtle. 

They’re also crude behind the trio’s backs — “Not bad for an old piece of a–.”

They aggressively pursue the well-preserved not-old-but-older women. Cecile may be off limits, but Sonia and Elise are down for a little get-down.

“That punk sure can kiss!”

Enter Markus (Victor Meutelet), who used to babysit Cecile’s kids and now is handsome enough to make her blush. Will she?

There’s clubbing, skinny dipping, flirting and peacocking. The lads are insatiable, over-eager (in a “premature” sense) and not shy about parading around buck naked to show off what they’ve just been doing.

They’re also callow and potentially cruel. There are plenty of women their age who turn their heads.

Conflict comes from the “age appropriate” Thomas (Rémi Pedevilla) who is put off by the boys throwing themselves at the women, and how the women react.

“You’re cute. Trying to be big men, eh?”

And there’s the sullen, sexy bouncer (Jéromine Chasseriaud) who is furious that these women, whom she wouldn’t let in the door, are stealing young man meat she has her eyes on.

There’s barely a laugh in it (six writers, remember), the situations are trite and playing the many sex scenes straight flatters the stars but does nothing for the movie’s central comic premise.

Perhaps “MILF” simply doesn’t translate. You look at these three — Ledoyen, of “The Beach,” is all of 44 — and there’s a “Why COULDN’T they have any straight man on Earth?”

And without that, there’s no challenge, no irony and not

1half-star

Rating: TV-MA, explicit sex, nudity, profanity, lots of drinking

Cast: Virginie Ledoyen, Marie-Josée Croze, Axelle Laffont, Waël Sersoub, Waël Sersoub and Victor Meutelet

Credits: Directed by Axelle Laffont, script by Axelle Laffont, Jean-François Halin, Alain Layrac, Jonathan Cohen, David Lanzman and Lilou Fogli. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:36

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