C’est la Vie – movie review

Although it’s almost as long as a reception, C’est la Vie will put a smile on your face. This lighthearted French comedy looks at weddings from a harried wedding planners’ perspective.

Max (Jean-Pierre Bacri) has been a planner for 30 years. Having organised hundreds of events, he’s close to throwing in the towel. Today however, he’s organising a lavish wedding at a 17th century chateau. As usual, Max has taken care of everything. He’s hired the cooks, waiters and dishwashers. He’s recommended a photographer, reserved a band and arranged the floral decorations. In short, he’s done everything to make the reception a success. But whatever can go wrong will. The joyful celebration becomes a series of mishaps, missteps and chaos.

The audience get to watch the event from behind the scenes. Max is at his wits’ end more than once. The question “is it worth it anymore?” comes into sharp focus. Having recently gone through the wedding experience with my daughter, the opening scene alone brought knowing nods.

C’est La Vie undoubtedly signals a number of its punches. The exaggerated and flawed, even incompetent, characters and their interactions make this movie. Infighting, shenanigans and illegal employment are the order of the day, with blunders at every turn.

The sumptuous setting – a stunning French palace – is not too difficult on the eye.

Notwithstanding the fun though, the writing and direction by Olivier Nakache and  Éric Toledano needed tightening. Some scenes were overly long or redundant. So, while there’s a lot to like in this crowd-pleaser, it does stretch friendships off the screen as well as on.

Director: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toldedano
Cast: Eye Haidara, Vincent Macaigne, Jean-Pierre Bacri
Release Date: 16 August 2018
Rating: M

Alex First

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