© Wild Bunch/Central

Das unerwartete Glück der Familie Payan (A Bun in the Oven, Le Petit Locataire)
France 2016

Opening 20 Jul 2017

Directed by: Nadège Loiseau
Writing credits: Fanny Loiseau, Julien Guetta
Principal actors: Karin Ward, Phillippe Rebbot, Hèléne Vincent, Manon Kneusé, Antoine Bertrand

The English title says it best: A Bun in the Oven.  Nicole visits a gynecologist, expecting to hear that she is suffering the first symptoms of menopause. This would be logical at age 49. Wrong! She is pregnant. Perhaps this could be joyful news, but Nicole’s life is already too complicated and pregnancies seem to have a way of upsetting her life. For example, she had her son Vincent (Raphael Ferret) when she was only 15, a scandal at the time. Later she had Arielle (Kneusé) who, although now 27 years old, still lives at home like a teenager. Husband Jean Pierre (Rebbot) has been unemployed for the last two years; he has no obvious plans to change the situation. Nicole works fulltime to support not only them, but also her granddaughter Zoe and her own elderly, rather addled, mother. That’s five relatives who rely on her support, not counting her own wishes. A new baby? Fuhgeddaboudit!

The film struggles to live up to the expectation of “best French comedy tradition.” There are upsets and backlashes, none surprising, but all rather repetitive. We “visit” Vincent, who is serving in the military on a submarine. New provisions are made for granny. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that you can bet on the ending and win. So, see the film (in the cinema or later on television) just to prove you were right. (Becky Tan)

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