27 February 2011 | stuka24
Life as it happens.
This is an unusual film that is relevant, funny and also pleasing.
The Celliers family are from the highest Parisian bourgeoisie, and yet the film is so well made it's not "too much" (as with so many good movies, like Woody Allen's Match Point, for instance).
Mady is probably the center of it. Manipulative, sleek, exuding elegance of course, selfish, a born denier... you know the type. Alice is of course her nemesis, and at the same time they have much in common. She says of her mum: "what she doesn't have, she cannot buy with money". Family economics are very important in this film. Money, basically. Antoine, his long suffering brother, is still in the position of a child still at 45, his charmless wife notices it in a funny and also very caring dialog they have in the car, before garnering courage for going to the family gathering. If you never felt like this, you didn't live in a dysfunctional family :)! Annabelle also has her share of troubles, although it's the one we get to know less about from the 3. Tarotist, engaged to somebody that doesn't value her, a sensitive kind, always takes sides for Alice.
Finally Henry, the father figure, is sort of phantom like, in that he is a provider of money but doesn't seem to be taken into consideration by anybody. But wait to the 45th anniversary... Don't expect much of the ending and you won't be disappointed. Although, like many other "troubled family" movies like "Home for the Holidays", its sunny outlook may be seen also as ironical, or condescending, not necessarily optimistic as it somehow seems. The copper Jacques de Parentis is an underdog catalyst, who knows resolutely what he wants, and acts on his hunches. In contrast, beautiful Gwendoline Hamon as Valérie plays the wife who is totally unaware of the situation and ignored by her husband. She could have had a bit more of "character development", that's my only quibble.
Music and photography are of course fine, but luckily, the plot is also as good.
Watch it twice for better results.