‘The Roommates Party’ (‘Le Grand partage’) Film Review

Alexandre Leclere leads an all-star expel in this socially themed holiday comedy.

Trying to give a amicable focussed to nonetheless another extended imitation about abounding Parisians with distant too many time on their hands, writer-director Alexandra Leclere’s The Roommates Party (Le Grand partage) uses a really applicable emanate of housing inequality to try and pull laughs out of a apocalyptic inhabitant situation. The problem is that a laughs are few and distant between, while this harsh mural of several neighbors forced to take in poor, mostly newcomer boarders during a serious winter charge winds adult wasting a theme matter on undercooked comic hijinks and eye-rolling marital woes.

Set for recover in France on Dec. 23 and clearly meant to be a holiday film for a whole family, this Wild Bunch recover might acquire good graces from internal audiences who enjoyed final year’s dermatitis comic hit, Serial (Bad) Weddings: Both films understanding with homegrown prejudices by display how hypocritical Frenchies can learn to stop worrying and adore people with darker skin tones. But both pics also destroy miserably by trafficking in sore stereotypes either white or black, withdrawal this Party to play out primarily in Francophone territories, with additional fetes in Western Europe.

It’s one of a misfortune winters on record, and an obligatory supervision direct has thankful homeowners with plenty building space to give adult a gangling room or dual to those though adequate lodging. The several residents of a imagination if somewhat outline unit building on Paris’s Left Bank are so forced to accommodate a slew of new roommates either they like it or not, upending their already pell-mell households and causing a friendly attrition to boil over into a slew of sparse domestic squabbles.

Leclere’s book mostly focuses on dual couples: a quite regressive Pierre (Didier Bourbon) and Christine (Karin Viard), who nap in apart bedrooms and substantially haven’t had sex given a Chirac administration; and a approved Bobos Gregory (Michel Vuillermoz) and Beatrice (Valerie Bonneton), who can’t confirm either they wish to assistance those in need or usually fake to caring though indeed doing anything. They’re assimilated by their Front National-supporting concierge (Josiane Balasko) and a untimely retirement (Patrick Chesnais) looking for a few immature masculine bodies to comfortable adult to.

If these already sound like vapid clichés, usually wait until all a lodgers arrive. They embody an African mom who doesn’t pronounce a word of French; a Romanian male who turns out to be a thief; a garland of homeless winos who smell bad though know how to have a good time; and maybe a usually partially grown character, a operative black mom (Priscilla Adade) who’s usually given about 3 mins of shade time.

Ultimately, a poverty-stricken tenants offer no other account purpose than to assistance a abounding white people get their mojo back, and a film is embarrassingly deceptive when it comes to a predestine of those in need. At one point, a building is filled to a margin with African refugees, with a full-time residents lapping adult a good vibes and outlandish color. But as shortly as open arrives, many of a squatters are gone. Where they indeed went is anyone’s theory — maybe behind on a street? — though hey, during slightest Pierre, Christine, Gregory and Beatrice are all removing laid now.

It’s rather mild how Leclere exploits amicable issues for such common comic fodder, and nonetheless a seasoned expel is sharp-witted enough, their performances are true out of a vaudeville blueprint whose volume is incited adult approach too many decibels. (The differently gifted Bonneton is quite intolerable here, cheering roughly each line of dialogue.)

It’s not that all films need to be politically correct, though when you’re rebellious a vital emanate like this, during slightest fake we care. As many as renouned comedies like Roommates and Weddings try to try into ethereal domain — secular taste in France is an tacit though determined problem — they all too mostly shelter to a protected side, comforting audiences in opinions they’re meant to condemn.

Production companies: Pan-Europeenne, Wild Bunch, France 2 Cinema
Cast: Karin Viard, Didier Bourdon, Valerie Bonneton, Michel Vuillermoz, Josiane Balasko, Patrick Chesnais
Director-screenwriter: Alexandra Leclere
Producer: Philippe Godeau
Director of photography: Jean-Marc Fabre
Production designer: Anne Seibel
Costume designers: Jacqueline Bouchard, Eric Perron
Editors: Philippe Bourgueil, Andrea Sedlackova, Ronan Tronchot
Composer: Philippe Rombi
Casting director: Isabelle Ungaro
Sales agent: Other Angle Pictures

In French
Not rated, 102 minutes

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