Friday, June 8, 2018

C’est la vie! (Le sens de la fête) - SIFF 2018 Movie Review

The Movie: C’est la vie! (Le sens de la fête)

The Directors: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano

The Cast: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Macaigne, Eye Haidara, Suzanne Clément,

The Story: A hectic wedding party held in an 17th century French palace comes together with the help of the behind-the-scenes staff.

The Review:
At the beginning of the 2018 Seattle International Film Festival, this movie was not on my radar at all and was in danger of slipping by without me noticing at all. Fortunately, the trailer for the movie was shown in front of another film and I was like, wait a minute, where did this come from? I quickly perused the schedule and saw that it would fit nicely into my already packed schedule and I would be able to check it out. This may have been the most fortunate bit of providence to take place during this year's festival as the movie turned out to be such a fantastic joy to watch and easily one of the most entertaining comedies I have seen in quite some time.

To say the movie features an ensemble cast would be an understatement as there are so may characters who have significant screen time and every one of their stories has been woven perfectly into the fabric of a story that was shockingly good considering how much is happening. There are multiple love stories that come together and/or fall apart, several friendships that hang in the balance, careers on the line, and all of it surrounds the hilariously hectic ups and downs of putting on a first class wedding event.

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano are responsible for both writing and directing this feature film and I have to give them all the applause I could ever muster for holding together so many plot threads and story details. I love how themes and jokes and story lines are revisited and called back to time and again throughout the movie and every single arc has a payoff by the time everything is wrapped up. Of course none of this would have mattered if they hadn't hired such a brilliant cast that all seemed to have a blast working together and the energy they give off just adds so much to the final product.

The primary actors in the movie are Jean-Pierre Bacri who brilliantly plays Max the owner of the event company, Jean-Paul Rouve as the disgruntled photographer, Gilles Lellouche as the fill in wedding singer who doesn't take instruction very well, Eye Haidara as Max's short tempered assistant, and Benjamin Lavernhe as the groom who gets in the way by getting his way. As I mentioned, the entire ensemble is just fantastic and there is so much interplay between all the cast but never seems out of control.

The Verdict:
C’est la vie! is an absolute delight that nearly got past me without a notice. This movie gets my highest recommendation for its comedy, its heart, and for an inspirational story that entertains from beginning to end.

C’est la vie! is an official selection of the Seattle International Film Festival. coverage of SIFF 2018.

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