New reviews, interviews, and features via RSS or Email.

Sponsored Links

Crustacés et Coquillages (a.k.a. Côte d'Azur)

(2005) ** 1/2 Unrated
91 min. Strand Releasing. Directors: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau. Cast: Gilbert Melki, Jean-Marc Barr, Jacques Bonnaffe, Edouard Collin.

The French farce now hitting our shores as Cote D'Azur was originally called Crustaces et coquillages (shellfish and shells). According to Marc, patriarch of a vacationing family, shellfish are tasty aphrodisiacs. They're also a symbol of hidden treasure just waiting to come out in this comedy of confusion.

Marc's wife Béatrix (the wonderful Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi of 5x2) notes a change in her son Charly (Romain Torres); he lights up when his friend Martin (Edouard Collin) arrives at the family's summer-home villa. Concluding that Charly is gay, Béatrix thoroughly complicates the emotional dynamics of her family. In fact, Charly isn't gay, but his supposed secret ironically unlocks the lies Marc (Gilbert Melki) and Béatrix have been telling each other (surprise appearances by Marc's childhood friend Didier, played by Jean-Marc Barr, and Béatrix's current friend Matthieu, played by Jacques Bonnaffé, further complicate matters).

Directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau may try a bit too hard to whip their comedy into a confection with two random musical numbers (don't they know comedy comes in threes?), and the pacing can be a bit slack. But if the memory of the film flits away soon after viewing, the comic beats are amusing, the cast is on point, and the film's outing of repressed desires agreeably arrives at an all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion. All vacations should be at least as refreshing as Cote D'Azur.

Share/bookmark: Digg Facebook Fark Furl Google Bookmarks Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Yahoo! My Web Permalink Permalink
Sponsored Links