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The unexpected happiness of the Payan family

The unexpected happiness of the Payan family

Frankreich 2016 - mit Karin Viard, Philippe Rebbot, Hèlène Vincent, Manon Kneusé, Antoine Bertrand ...

Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:


Originaltitel:Le petit Locataire
Regie:Nadège Loiseau
Produktionsland:Frankreich 2016
Laufzeit:Ca. 104 Min
FSK:From 6 years
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Bad enough that Nicole (Karin Viard) is constantly brought to the brink of a nervous breakdown by her family. Her unemployed husband Jean-Pierre (Philippe Rebbot) is not exactly a model of reliability, her adult daughter Arielle (Manon Kneusé) still behaves like a teenager and likes to shift the responsibility for her daughter Zoe (Stella Fenouillet) onto Nicole. And her mother (Hélène Vincent) also needs more and more care, which usually gets stuck with Nicole. And now her body is going crazy. Probably the menopause - at 49 actually quite normal. But then the doctor opens a completely unexpected news for her: Nicole is pregnant! But is there enough room for another family member in their already chaotic life? Nicole must not only digest this news, but also make a difficult decision - a decision that everyone suddenly tries to talk her into…

With her feature debut "The unexpected happiness of the Payan family" director and scriptwriter Nadège Loiseau has staged a strange conglomerate of over-twisted clothes, social drama and light family comedy. The idea, which she already realised in 2012 as a short film, is really nice and full of good approaches. She should also be credited for trying to win some serious pages from her comedy by asking really relevant questions. What she did not succeed in doing, however, is to find a harmonious tone that combines the individual plot elements and mood colours.

So the whole thing is loud, shrill and extremely exhausting, then suddenly calm and thoughtful again, only to make use of very exaggerated humor again a short time later. The problem with this is that there are hardly any really likeable characters who could compensate for this flaw. Jean-Pierre is somehow adorable, but so absorbed and listless that it's hard to really like him. Daughter Arielle is simply immature and selfish and as a mother a complete failure. Even Nicole's mother is not as sympathetic as she could be. As in the story, everything in the film itself depends on Nicole, confidently played by Karin Viard. But even she doesn't manage to play against the obvious weaknesses of the production and the script.

There are moments when the movie works pretty well. Then he not only manages to offer solid entertainment, but also to amuse his audience in a very pleasant way. But such moments are unfortunately much too rare in the just over 100 minutes running time. Most of the time you are just annoyed by the characters and their actions and you are just irritated by the indecisive drifting back and forth between comedy and drama. And that's why "The unexpected happiness of the Payan family" really can't be considered a stroke of luck for the cinema. Only conditionally worth seeing! 

Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp


  • The unexpected happiness of the Payan family
  • The unexpected happiness of the Payan family
  • The unexpected happiness of the Payan family
  • The unexpected happiness of the Payan family
  • The unexpected happiness of the Payan family
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