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|Originaltitel:||Une Famille à louer|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 97 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
Paul-André (Jean-Pierre Améris) has a wonderful house and lots of money. He hasn't had to work in a long time. But what so many people dream of doesn't really make him happy. Because instead of many friends, Paul-André only has many fears and quirks, which he tries to tame with classical music and masses of pills. But there is only one thing that could really help him: a loving family. But you can't buy them with money. Or is it? When the shy single on television sees a report about the desperate single mother Violette (Virginie Efira), who has become a shoplifter for her two children, Paul-André decides to make her an immoral offer: He wants to rent her small family for a few months to see if normal family life is really what the void in his life could fill. But what he gets himself into with it, he doesn't even suspect…
With "Family to let" director Jan-Pierre Ameris delivers another romantic comedy of a somewhat unusual kind after "The Anonymous Romantics". Again, the characters aren't exactly predestined to find each other and to have something like a normal relationship. And again it is Benoit Poelvoorde, who stands in the way of himself and his happiness in a particularly amusing way. With Virginie Efira, who has just thrilled German cinema audiences in the wonderful comedy "Pear Cake with Lavender", he has been joined by a charming partner who, as a toughness and somewhat crazy single mother, is the perfect counterpart to the meticulous eccentric.
The ingredients for this somewhat different family comedy are almost perfect. But the execution is unfortunately not quite as successful as it seems at first glance. After a really witty and fast-paced beginning, the film increasingly loses itself in lukewarm clichés, illogical plot turns and lengthy irrelevance. The comedy never gets really bad. Many scenes are still very nice and quite amusing even in the weaker second half. But the story just doesn't really want to ignite anymore. After the first twenty minutes Jean-Pierre Ameris almost completely misses the endearingly quirky originality that has distinguished "The Anonymous Romantics".
A few nice jokes and quite charmingly drawn characters are unfortunately not enough to save this comedy from mediocrity. However, at least the original idea of the story and the two main actors are good enough to make "renting a family" just worth seeing, despite all its weaknesses. But those who hoped for an original charm offensive from France will surely leave the cinema disappointed!
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