French movie 04 – C’est la vie: prendila come viene (2017)

Le sens de la fête / C’est la vie: prendila come viene (2017) with Italian subtitles

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Pierre is marrying Héléna and he wants his wedding party to be first-rate. For that he has reserved the services of seasoned caterer Max Angély and his team. The reception is to take place in a sumptuous 17th-century leisure castle and its beautiful park, and an excellent DJ will supply the music. The rich, arrogant groom demands that everything go according to plan. Max assures him that it will, but he doesn’t mention that his team isn’t absolutely above reproach. For instance, Etienne (as James), a second-rate entertainer, has replaced the top-level DJ; Adèle, Max’s short-tempered assistant, keeps causing embroilment; Guy, the wedding photographer, is a free-loading has-been; Josiane, Max’s close collaborator (and lover), is on the verge of breaking up with him; Julien, a depressive ex-teacher-turned-waiter, once had a date with–the bride; Samy, an additional waiter, proves worthless. But Max, whose motto is “Always adapt!” is the persistent kind and will do everything to save the situation. Will he manage? That is the question.

Why you should see that movie :

Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano had already come up with a masterpiece in 2011: INTOUCHABLES, brimming with joie de vivre despite the physical and social limitations of the two main characters, brilliantly played by François Cluzet and Omar Sy.

That same zest for life is present in LE SENS DE LA FÊTE, and certainly the acting is of the highest order once again. Were this an American film, and Jean-Pierre Bacri would certainly have received an Oscar nomination. His control over his party function team, his business sense, his perceptiveness of his troop members’ moods, and even his occasionally deadpan moments render his performance sublime, possibly the most complete, subtle, and perceptive I watched in 2017.

There are many other performers in this film but that never detracts from the film’s focus and all of them do an excellent job of raising this film to the highest levels of comedy, including two Indians from the Punjab who have some of the peachiest small parts I have watched in the recent past.

From the above, it is easy to conclude that dialogue is sharp and funny, as characters find themselves in all manner of laughable, embarrassing, sexy, unprofessional, and other situations. Perhaps the screenplay’s greatest merit is that it keeps subtly misleading the viewer into believing that the outcome of a given sequence will be this or that – to be sure, you never get the pat solution!

Photography is excellent, especially the night shots and the sequence involving a balloon in flight. Soundtrack is very appropriate, never interfering, but always helping to give substance to the film.

Finally – please forgive me if I repeat my introduction – what a great job of directing!

This is one of the best, subtlest and most sublime comedies I have ever had the privilege to watch. I was really sorry to see the credits roll up at the end. and that’s not what I feel about many movies these days

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