Thursday, August 16, 2012

What's in a Name

It's a sad state of affairs when the film festival programme contains only one French comedy - maybe films about policemen are more hip. Maybe nothing else was as funny. Whatever the reason, What's in a Name ticks all the boxes for a great french farce and is definitely one to watch, particularly if you need to have your mind removed from something more tedious.

Claude, Vincent and Pierre

Forty-somethings Elisabeth and Pierre are having a dinner party at their apartment. The guests are Elisabeth's brother Vincent, his pregnant girlfriend Anna, and Claude, a childhood friend of Elisabeth and Vincent. Someone asks what Vincent and Anna are planning to name their baby, and Vincent says the baby will be called Adolphe. This provokes outbursts from everyone present and soon people are saying things they may regret and revealing secrets.Everyone knows everyone very well, and after the dinner party they will know each other slightly better.

The script is witty and fast-paced. There's lots of gesturing and pulling faces. Everyone gets a hard time and no-one's idiosyncrasies are left unexposed . There's not as much physical comedy as some french films but the coffee table does collapse. Your mind is not left to wander and you will laugh. Often. And then you'll pause to ponder the frailty of human relationships.

Anne's rating: 4.5/5 Ian's rating: 5/5 

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