19 October 2008 | popdrome
Good example of outstanding French comedy
On the surface, this may seem a simple, typical French frolic, with too many characters, too many intertwined story lines - a little too much of everything stuffed into a two hour (!) piece of carefree entertainment.
OTOH, from a less superficial point of view though, this can be seen as outstanding ensemble work, well scripted, - acted and edited about the absurdity of everyday life. A school class in Nantes, France, has the day off to play and the kids get to spend time with their parents. The parents of the schoolchildren lead a hectic life full of stress and relationship blues, hardly knowing what to dowith their children when they're off school.
The beauty of this film is, that it tells a story, without ever becoming boring, about how trivial our everyday lives are. If you understand French well enough, you'll find a lot of subtle and painful jokes, without ever turning into cynicism.
How much better are we than our children? Or haven't we ever grown up? These seem the relevant questions here.
The acting (as usual ensemble piece: an all star cast) is very good and contains finesse. Special regard must go to the many children that not only inhabit, but beautifully embody the story. The director did an excellent job by letting the girls and boys, without acting experience, look natural and sane in the midst of the frenzies the grown ups produce. Well done job there.
All in all, Mercredi folle journee is an achievement. Maybe not a masterpiece, but at least a good example of French comedy, and a Saturday afternoon well spent.