Friday, February 22, 2013


By D.E.Levine

A Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2013 Selection

Denis Podalydes stars in this comedy he co-wrote with his brother Bruno, who also directed the film.  Denis, as Armand, is a pharmacist in business with his wife,(Isabelle Candelier) of many years.  Together they run a pharmacy in a Parisian suburb.  He also has a mistress , Alix (Valerie Lemercier) and has to juggle the two women on a daily basis since he can't seem to give either one up..

While he wasn't very close to his paternal grandmother during her final years, Armand decides to make funeral arrangements and the first decision is whether to bury her or cremate her.  To help make the decision he consults two funeral homes. - one that is technically savvy and has ties to his mother-in-law, and the other that is very easy going and is actually a mortuary for pets (where director Podalydes plays Gronda the owner).  Promising his mistress a romantic day in the country, they head off to the nursing home where she died, arranging to meet the funeral director he selected there and see that the body is picked up.

The first half of the film goes smoothly and swiftly with lots of funny situations and good comedic acting.  Then the film slows as the two brothers-actors-writers try to make some deeper relevant statements.  In doing so they lose some of their humor but overall, the film is amusing, inventive and doesn't require deep thinking.