© Splendid/Tobis

Mama gegen Papa - Wer hier verliert, gewinnt (Papa ou maman)
France/Belgium 2015

Opening 9 Jul 2015

Directed by: Martin Bourboulon
Writing credits: Guillaume Clicquot de Mentque, Matthieu Delaporte, Jérôme Fansten, Alexandre de La Patellière
Principal actors: Laurent Lafitte, Marina Foïs, Alexandre Desrousseaux, Anna Lemarchand, Achille Potier

Florence (Marina Foïs) and Vincent’s (Laurent Lafitte) tumultuous relationship has greatly quieted down the past fifteen years; they have enough joie de vivre in their lives as busy professionals -- engineer and doctor respectively -- with three children. Therefore, good friends Virginie (Judith El Zein) and Paul (Michaël Abiteboul) are flummoxed when, over dinner, Flo casually announces their imminent divorce. Then, meeting with the Judge (Anne Le Ny), she reminds the amicable couple of a persisting hurdle -- enlightening their nine-, twelve-, and fourteen-years-old children. Life surges forward: Florence receives a promotion to Denmark, Vincent a stint with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Still dragging their feet, the Judge delivers an ultimatum to the couple. Thus giving them ideas -- turbulence reenters Flo and Vincent’s relationship. They disappoint friends, test colleagues’ patience, and mortify their children forcing them to face realities.

Labeling this film a comedy is a stretch. Clicquot de Mentque’s original idea might have had merit, but the telling, i.e. screenplay, is convoluted. The good cast valiantly milks the most out of the thin script and ludicrous scenarios. Although, certain aspects deserve parents paying attention. Martin Bourboulon directs, Virginie Bruant edits, Laurent Dailland is cinematographer, and Jérôme Rebotier provides music. Papa ou Maman has some funny moments, but if you wait for the DVD you have the option of ejecting it. (Marinell Haegelin)

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