21 July 2018 | dbdumonteil
The title is one of the (slightly modified) commandments : "thou shalt honor thy mother and ....mother."From the start ,we know what we are going to deal with: the over possessive mom ,Oedipus complex, and ,a good way to combine pleasure with business, Greece,its blue sea,its blue sky ,and its wonderful landscapes .There is no doubt about it : the cast took advantage of it .
Lauded far beyond its station by the "feel good" critics, the movie is little more than a rehash of the former parts of Melina Mercouri : anyway ,the four boys dance the sirtaki and sing (in Greek,much to their credit) "Les Enfants Du Pirée " aka "children of Piraeus " aka "never on Sunday" by Manos Hadjidakis .Nicole Garcia is an excellent actress as well as a talented director and perhaps she should have directed the movie herself and rewritten the screenplay: for the younger actors and actresses (mainly the English daughter-in-law 's singing exercises get on your nerves the third time)are left to their own devices ;even the marvelous granny Emmanuelle Riva does not know what to do with herself .
At times,it looks as though all Brigitte Rouan's actors hog the stage ,and their lines are generally witless ;the funny moments are few and far between: the mayor has used the cultural funds to get a mains drainage ; the Virgin Mary procession ,led by a cross (orthodox) priest played by pop singer Demis Roussos , that meets the "Bacchanalia" and their giant phallus ;and finally the best moment : the spoof on Oedipus tragedy :but,it's too little too late ;and we are left dreaming of how great the movie could have been ,by focussing on this stage drama :rehearsals , performance , connection with real life ,Freud parody ,etc .It's not enough to include a surrealist Garcia on her flying chariot to suggest ,say, Medea.
Greece ,its mythology , the sons-mother relationship ,all is only skimmed over ;a nice vacation indeed!It's true that fried squids are a gourmet dish in Homer's land.