|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||La cage dorée|
|Production country:||Frankreich 2013|
|Running time:||Approx. 91 min.|
For nearly three decades now, Maria (Rita Blanco) and her husband José Riberio (Joaquim De Almeida) have lived in France. While José, a foreman for a construction company, is highly regarded by his employer and colleagues for his skill and helpful, always friendly manner, Maria has long since become the good soul of a stately home in the 16th arrondissement in Paris as concierge. Although the couple never misses an opportunity to celebrate their culture extensively in joyous parties with other exiled Portuguese in their neighbourhood and they have fully integrated into their adopted country with their children Paula (Barbara Cabrita) and Pedro (Alex Alves Pereira), they still dream of a life in Portugal. That dream may unexpectedly become a reality when José learns that he has inherited the family estate, complete with winery, from his recently deceased brother. The inheritance, however, comes with a condition: The Riberios must continue to run the family business from Portugal. Although their children want to stay in Paris, Maria and José decide that they want to take on the inheritance. But they first have to break the news to their employers, their friends and their other family members - and that proves to be much more difficult than they thought.
Portugal, mon amour is a likeable little comedy that has quickly gone from being an insider's tip to an absolute audience favourite, not only in France but also in Portugal. Responsible for this are on the one hand the endearingly drawn characters, who at first glance seem to be rather stencil-like cliché figures. But director Ruben Alves plays with these clichés so skilfully that his characters get a very own, charming charm. Also successful is the way Alves addresses migration issues in a way that is recognizable to the viewer, but takes nothing away from the film's wit and warm-hearted lightness.
The film's humor vacillates between classic screwball comedy and typical culture-clash comedy, sometimes offering very obvious laughs, other times smaller, hidden gags. In between, the script always finds time for more emotional, quieter moments, which also gives characters and story a pleasant depth. In this way, Alves succeeds in building a community that viewers simply enjoy spending time with.
Portugal, mon amour may lack a bit of bite and sustainability at the end. But even if this gives the comedy the impression of simply being nice, this is not to be seen here in a negative sense, true to the motto: nice is the little sister of sh... No, Portugal, mon amour is nice in the sense that you feel good while watching it and leave the cinema with a pleasant smile on your face. The film offers lovers of light French comedies 90 minutes of pleasant everyday escapism without being too silly or too over-the-top and removed from reality. The fact that it lacks the big wow effect is really easy to get over. Therefore, there is also a deserved for this little charmer. Worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp