|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Un Heureux Événement|
|Production country:||Frankreich 2011|
|Running time:||Approx. 109 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
It's the happy climax of the perfect working relationship between philosophy student Barbara (Louise Bourgoin) and fun-loving Nicolas (Pio Marmaï): the couple is expecting a baby. Actually, they were looking forward to this moment so much. But as her pregnancy progresses, Barbara becomes more and more doubtful as to whether she is ready for this big step and whether her relationship is strong enough to withstand the demands of the future. She cannot identify herself with the other women in the pregnancy course and her fallow sex life also gnaws at Barbara's nerves. Nausea, mood swings, weight gain, all normal side effects that Barbara simply does not want to accept. But all this is still nothing against the chaos that waits for the couple after the birth of little Lea. And soon the exhausting reality has killed every spark of the former euphoria and the young parents face the difficult task of looking after their little daughter and at the same time saving their relationship…
In "A happy event" director Rémi Bezançon ("C`est la vie - So sind wir, so ist das Leben") takes a sometimes humorous, sometimes very bitter look at the changes that a pregnancy means for the life of the parents. His film begins like a wonderfully unconventional and charming romance, which tells of the beginning of a great love with a lot of heart and humour. With the help of his leading actors, he succeeds very well in getting Barbara and Nicolas to grow close to the hearts of the viewers and to make them really happy about their love - a joy that culminates in the news about the next generation together with the screen couple.
This is where the film begins its slow but noticeable change. Humour increasingly loses its playfulness, becoming not only more realistic, but also noticeably more cynical. And also the basic tone of the story loses its cheerfulness and is more and more determined by dark moments. This does not mean that the birth of a child is shown here as a pure horror scenario. But Bezançon tries to trace very effectively what a pregnancy means for a woman and how difficult it can be to cope with the loss of previous habits. Because while there are many parents who find this very easy in view of the joy of their offspring and who are then completely absorbed in being parents, there are also people like Barbara and Nicolas for whom the new life, which is completely determined by the baby and his needs, is a real ordeal. This not only affects one's own psyche and attachment to the child, but also the relationship between the parents. And the film shows this in a very lifelike and unembellished way.
This is sometimes quite frustrating and depressing, which is why "A Happy Event" cannot necessarily be recommended to expecting parents. But even if the film adaptation of Eliette Abéccassis' novel doesn't praise parenthood as the highest happiness on earth and the film can't really be called a feel-good cinema despite its beautiful beginning and amusing moments, its emotional honesty and the avoidance of all known clichés is absolutely refreshing. That, coupled with the really outstanding performance of Louise Bourgoin and a very personal production, makes "A Happy Event" a really worth seeing piece of French cinema!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp