Serial (Bad) Weddings
United colours of Benetton
Classic Elsternwick - Wednesday 30 December 2015, 7:00pm
Running time: 97m
Release date: 24/12/15
Cost: $15 (Classic Member discount)
Rating: 7.5/10 (ME 3/5, DP 3.5/5)
Claude (Christian Clavier) and his wife Marie (Chantel Lauby) have watched three of their four daughters get married, one to a Jewish man, one to a Muslim man and one to a Chinese man. The parents are challenged by the diversity of their new family but eventually learn a respect for the differences. When their single daughter Laure (Élodie Fontan) announces that she's engaged to Charles (Noom Diawara), the parents' hopes for a wedding of one of their daughters in a Catholic church are finally realised. However there's something she hasn't told them about her fiancé.
Serial Bad Weddings (Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?) is a French comedy about the challenge a family adjusting to the multiculturalism of contemporary France. Yes, there are racist jokes (many of them) throughout the film and nobody is spared, but it's worth sticking with it to a resolution that is predictable and inevitable yet joyous and optimistic. Charles' parents André (Pascal Nzonzi) and Madeleine (Salimata Kamate) steal almost every scene they're in with a delightful chemistry and screen presence. Chantel Lauby as matriarch Marie plays for laughs but it's also a subtle performance that says so much about the insecurities of ageing.
The witty script has a delightfully fast pace and delivers a story with lots of humour and lots of soul. There's a huge cast of characters to keep track of but it all works. At times the humour resorts to slapstick (yes, the dog ate the foreskin; don't ask) but it has more than enough lightness to provide a fun and thought-provoking film experience. (ME)