"Il a déjà tes yeux" or "He Even Has Your Eyes" is a French 95-minute film that premiered last year. The writer and director is Lucien Jean-Baptiste and he also appears in here as an actor, but despite being the boy's father, he never felt as much as a a lead actor like Aïssa Maïga for example. I saw her in another French film recently and that one was about a Black doctor trying to have a career in the French countryside, so I guess she found her niche. As for the film's quality, that one I just mentioned gets better the longer it goes while this one here gets worse and worse. The title pretty much tells you that it is mostly comedy and when it tries to be really nothing (or almost nothing) except that in the first 40-50 minutes, it is a decent watch and I was tempted to give it a ***/***** rating. But then, things go south fairly quickly. I guess they could keep the premise of a Black couple adopting a White child only for so long and certainly not for over an hour. Even Marie-Philomène Nga, who admittedly was somewhat entertaining early on, quickly lost her charm. The only one in the cast who is consistently funny from start to finish is Vincent Elbaz and I hope he gets some awards recognition for his performance here as he honestly was the only one who kept this from becoming an even bigger mess.
Now lets talk a bit about Aïssa Maïga's character. She really is the epitome of what is wrong with this film. It's not even the actress' fault really, but it was clearly the filmmakers' attention that we care for her that we want her to succeed, but the way she was written was disastrous. I am sure everybody who is not capable of looking below the surface will like her and will cheer for her, but these are really just the easily entertained, the ones who call Breitman's character a bitch during the viewing. Anyway, back to Maiga, there were more than just a few scenes where I felt her character was highly unlikable, like when she is at the playground and behaves really mean towards the harmless and friendly approach from another woman. Or when she lies about a death in her family towards Breitman's character. Or when she says right away that she cannot stand the latter although at that point Breitman's character really did nothing wrong at all. Or when she is also at least partially responsible for what happens at the very end, namely the way the other woman gets arrested, maybe deported even. What a charmer. She must really love her child.
Yeah well I mentioned the end already, but i want to go into detail a bit more. Breitman's character suddenly realizes that Maiga is the right mother for the kid. That came out of nowhere. But it's fine because everybody else suddenly realizes it too. Maiga's dad. Maiga's mother, she was admittedly somewhat reasonable etc. The rest of the family. All of a sudden, the White boy is a member of the family like everybody else. Who cares what the parenting institution says. You want to know the reason for that. The reason is that it is a forced happy ending. An ending that has absolutely nothing to do with reality and makes basically the entire film before that pointless because all conflicts are solved completely out of nowhere and they are still trying to sell it to us as an authentic film. But it was somewhat expected when the film turned into nothing but stupid noise eventually with the hullabaloo and the chase scenes at the hospital. The "hostage situation". And the worst was probably Maiga's character's reaction. She was so scared of losing the boy and then all of a sudden she just says that she wants him to get a good family. Doesn't make sense either. I am sure the people I mentioned earlier will come up with an explanation, but she was so emotionally tormented and she knew she would lose the kid after what happened at the hospital etc. Nonsense I say. This is a film that ended for the happiness of the audience and completely ignored the previous 80 minutes in terms of story-telling. The longer it went, the worse it became. I would not say it was really the actors' fault. The script is the issues here as it all turns to shambles eventually. I believe that French films are superior to German films right now, especially comedies, but this one here is the French equivalent to "Willkommen bei den Hartmanns". Fake feel-good stuff and desperate attempts to make a contemporarily relevant movie while messing up big style in terms of drama, emotions and realism. Don't watch. Or turn it off halfway into the film if you want to do without all the cringe that happens afterward. Without the solid start, I'd have given it only */*****.
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