Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Lindon, Mathilde Seigner, Line Renaud, Stéphane Audran
Director: Gabriel Aghion
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Light hearted, irreverent, laugh out loud romantic comedy
Madame Butterfly | Seattle, WA | 08/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Belle Maman is a tale of forbidden love and every other moral hot topic all rolled it into a deliciously funny and touching romantic comedy.
It's the wedding ceremony of Antoine (Vincent Lindon) and Severine, who are both lawyers. Just before the I-Do's, Severine's mother, Lea (Catherine Deneuve), and grandmother, Nicou, walk in with their partners causing a bit of a disturbance. Antoine has never met Severine's mother as she lives in the Bahamas and he is immediately attracted to her causing him to stumble on the I-Do's. From then on Antoine finagles his way into Lea's life in many conniving and manipulative, but amusing ways.
Lea is a kind of older hippy chick who has floated through life sometimes as a foreign correspondent reporter, but mostly as someone who cannot settle down and who can't really stick with any person. She is attracted to and lives on the fringes of society. She is currently involved with a much younger man in the Bahamas and is considering marrying him for the security even though he's boinking other woman. Her mother, who runs a popular hotel there, is a lesbian, smokes cigars, is always telling off color jokes, and is living with her partner, a comedically sad woman, who is suffering from dementia.
Outside of the fact that Antoine is committing the taboo of lusting after his mother-in-law, he's a stand-up, mature guy who takes his responsibilities seriously, likes traditional aesthetics, like Opera, and finds fault with people who aren't honest with themselves and others. And, he goes for what he wants. He's the antithesis of Lea.
What follows is a very funny and touching wooing of Lea by Antoine, who just can't help himself. The casting of Catherine Deneuve in this tale of May-Dec attraction is right on and totally believable.
I don't know how the French do it, but they are so good at turning taboo into something so completely normal and acceptable. You are cheering for the couple to be together in the end. And there are some really hysterically funny moments. The best scene ever was when Antoine in complete anger, frustration, and desperation grabs and screams at Lea in front of everyone trying to express what he feels. Priceless!
Other interesting characters:
Antoine's maman is an alcoholic whom the family has to watch due to her outrageous behavior when drunk.
Severine's father and ex of Lea is a Judge who only sleeps with prostitutes and bad mouths Lea at every turn.
Antoine's best friend is married with children and confesses to him that he is gay and has had a male lover for quite a while.
And then of course Severine, who is stepping out on Antoine because he's been disinterested in her since the wedding.
A very fun and entertaining movie and a definite must see for Deneuve fans.
PS: I know this movie is hard to come by in region 1 coding. If you are lucky to live in the Seattle area though, the so very cool Scarecrow video store has a copy of it.