Praying to all gods
Original Title: Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au bon dieu
Director: Philippe de Chauveron
French people are traditional. That may be news for some, but since I arrived here, I found a country that was fighting against gay marriage, when many of its neighbors, even those “less developed”, had already accepted it.
For a country where the slogan sold to the world is “Liberté, egalité, fraternité”, it was just non-sense to me.
Actually, what I have learned living here is that Paris is not like the rest of France, because while there’s a great amount of people coming all year long to the, so called most beautiful city in the world, there are many places where you don’t see any diversity, only white French, in kilometers.
So what is shown in Philippe de Chauveron‘s new film just illustrates the many shocking cases that must arrive to conservative families from la campagne: interracial weddings.
In this story, we get to meet the family Verneuil, a great bourgeois catholic family from the province of France. Their four daughters went to study in Paris and they gave their parents quite a surprise when the first married a Muslim, the second a Jew and the third a Chinese. The last daughter is the only one who marries a catholic but far from what her parents were expecting (a white French, hopefully from province too): Charles is African.
The Verneuil parents, Claude (Christian Claver) and Marie (Chantal Lauby) have a lot to deal with, especially organizing a wedding to please everyone and finally accepting the men in the lives of their daughters.
Things at the beginning are not that good for this family, and one year after the third marriage, they have a meal, where nothing goes smoothly, except for the acting of this cast. This film starts strong, with good lines and a well-put fight that sets the tone, with racist parents, lovely daughters and in-laws à la defensive.
A lot of French references and provincial expectations are part of this film that goes lightly with time and good reception from the public. The awkwardness of racism, sensitiveness and even grotesque, made a rare good combination for its 97 minutes.
Maybe the way to exploit the stereotypes felt “too much” in certain scenes, like the Jew eating in half of the scenes he’s in, the Chinese correctness or the Arab’s aggressiveness. Seemed like a release to say what everyone here is thinking but is so politically incorrect to actually pronounce it.
However I feel that there was a balance to make this one the best comedy films of this year, which reached 3 million spectators on its third week. In Le Figaro are predicting even better results, comparing the film to the case of Amélie, which had about 2 millions in the same amount of time, and finished up with about 8 million spectators total.
I guess that at the end, all the gods are on the side of this film. Amen.