The movie offers a look into a not so glamorous Parisian home owners' way of life and revolves around a myriad of characters whose opposite personalities and values sometimes have to and other times can't put up with each other.
French director Remi Waterhouse has chosen to tell the story by going back and forth between scenes taken from the home owner's association meeting (40 minutes) and scenes taken from some characters' lives outside the meeting. Mille Milliemes is his second feature film as a director, after his most welcome "Je regle mon pas sur le pas de mon pere" (1999); he also co-wrote the script of the very well received Ridicule (1996).
The story portrays the good and the bad in each and everyone, the self-interest versus the interest of the community and the rational and irrational in the decision-making process during the home owner association meeting of a small condominium - about 15 to 20 home owners were sitting at the meeting, the respect and the looking down upon renters, homeless people and the "concierge".
Bigger and smaller things in the life of a condominium are brought up, discussed and voted on when it applies, from the new elevator to be installed to the amount (over)spent on cleaning products, including the authorization to build an indoor staircase between two apartments, to park bicycles in the courtyard, the time to turn the phone entry system on in the evening, who should be fined for graffiti on the walls in the courtyard, how to prevent people from relieving themselves in the common areas, complains about a couple making loud, passionate love at night in the courtyard, etc.
Apart from Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Un Air de Famille - 1996) who plays Patrick Bertil, the unpopular, withdrawn, boring medal-making company man, I was not impressed with the performances of the other actors in this movie, including Irene Jacob (Trois Couleurs Rouge - 1994, La Double Vie de Veronique - 1991) whose acting has never stirred many emotions in me whenever I see her on the screen.
A pity that in spite of a good concept in the first place, the movie failed to be entertaining. Mille Milliemes could have been a good, fast-paced comedy, but it turned out to be lengthy, displaying too many characters we weren't really given the opportunity to care enough for. (4/10)