Saturday, 10 March 2018

FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW: LE SENS DE LA FETE (CE LA VIE!)


9/10

Max Angely (Jean-Pierre Bacri) runs a tight operation with his loyal staff and right hand maiden Adele. He is a party planner and this time it’s a wedding in a 17th century castle. Things invariably go wrong. First it’s something small, then the snowball starts rolling. During an evening filled with eccentric guests, mistaken identities and broken hearts will Max be able to pick up the pieces and save the party again and again? Like a juggler he has too many balls in the air, and one of them is doomed to fall.

LE SENS DE LA FETE is just like its name - filled with a party atmosphere, only it’s not the atmosphere we are usually exposed to. It’s the behind the scenes drama of little intrigues where personalities collide, loyalties form and relationships begin and end.

Jean-Pierre Bacri as Max delivers a solid performance, switching from sour to sad, then to fuming and frustrated in one go. His face is perfect for comedy and in each scene he is in he is bursting with charisma. The supporting cast includes Gills Lellouche in the role of a wedding singer and Eye Haidara as second in charge of the operation. The genuine chemistry between them saves the film when it steps into particularly cheesy territory.

The jazzy soundtrack is both  endearing and energising. The film’s 2hrs running time is hardly noticeable and with 20 plus characters, with most of them having their own mini story ark, it’s a great achievement. 

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano from Intouchibles fame created a breezy comedy of misadventures with characters that are easy to love. One moment was funny enough for the audience to still be chuckling about it five minutes later, and this is when you know the film is special. LE SENS DE LA FETE could be a manual for making comedies and an unmissable example of modern french cinema.

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