Desserts arrive eventually

Maybe I am old-fashioned or have been weaned on too many Hollywood films, but I find it hard to warm to a movie if I cannot quickly find a character to like.

 

C’EST LA VIE

Directors: Olivier Nakache and Eric ToledanoCast: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Macaigne, Eye Haidara, Suzanne Clement, Helene Vincent, Benjamin Lavernhe, Judith Chemla, William Ledghil, Keven Azais, Alban Ivanov, Antoine Chappey, Manmathan Busky, Khereddine Ennasri, Gabriel Naccache
Rating: (M)
★★★ (out of five)

 

C’est la Vie (Rialto) is a French comedy following a very trying day in the life of caterer Max (Jean-Pierre Bacri). He has an ornate-themed wedding to run in a beautiful 17th-century chateau with 19th-century electricity. His staff are an ill-assorted bunch, half of whom he is paying under the table. Pierre, the groom (Benjamin Lavernhe), is a self-important jerk, who is determined to get the classy wedding of his dreams. Worst of all, Max’s girlfriend, Josiane (Suzanne Clement), is giving him the cold shoulder until he tells his wife about her.

Max has made an offer to buy the business and, as everything about the ill-fated wedding starts to spin out of control, he is tempted to opt out. The problem is that everyone around Max is so wilfully useless you struggle to work out why he has kept going as long as he has.  He is meant to be a man on the top of his game, but if you are only as good as the people around you, Max has problems.

Actually, after spending half the film in frosty silence, I did start to find the humour in the day’s disasters. So, from an unsatisfactory beginning, C’est la Vie has a surprisingly upbeat ending.  

- Christine Powley

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