What a happy family the Gazuls! A picnic by the side of a main road : how delightful! And the kids are such good pupils!And the father is about to have a pay raise. And when the postman ... See full summary »
This short black comedy is an early effort by Patrice Leconte who, for all I know, had made only one previous film "Le Laboratoire de l'Angoisse" for Pierre Braunberger two years before. And you can't be mistaken : no one else but Leconte could have made this one : you do not burst out laughing watching it, but you don't in any of his further comedies ( with the exception of the two "Bronzés" this being due to the the Jugnot-Clavier-Lhermitte gang, not to Leconte) but the caustic narrative causes you to grit your teeth throughout and the "unrealistic" humor displayed here is very close to that of Leconte's masterpieces ("Tandem")but also of his first full-length feature flop ("Les vécés étaient fermés de l'intérieur). Moreover, happiness and its desperate pursuit is one of his favorite themes, particularly in his "serious" films like "Le Parfum d'Yvonne" or "La Fille sur le Pont". In "Famille heureuse" the happiness the family is supposed to experience is shown so ironically, the attitudes and words allegedly exemplifying it are so forced and fake that they do not ring true a minute. The message of this fable is clear : happiness cannot be vowed. To exist, it must rest on something.