This is one of those films that I do not dislike, but it is not one I am overwhelmingly impressed by. It is a comedy, with some romance and drama, with a few good elements about family, but some of the scenes are predictable. As much as the director and co writer Julie Delpy tries, along with contributions by Alexia Landeau (screenplay/story) and Alexandre Nahon (dialogue/story), I did not find the humor very much. It is hard to laugh and enjoy a film when the viewer can determine what the next scene is.
This is one of those films that may be skipped over by film fans who do not embrace some of the romantic comedy aspects, but end up seeing it with a friend or relative anyway. No one will leave the theater necessarily miserable, but there are no surprise twists and turns in this script. Oh, the things we do for friends and family and this leads back to the film and the crazy relationships we all have.
I did enjoy the performances by the actors, given their lines; Chris Rock did his best given the material. There is nothing comedy-wise that is outstanding, but that is due to the script, not the actor. He does have one scene where he is talking to a poster in his home office that was slightly humorous. The relationship between his character, Mingus and Marion (Delpy), was not interesting to me, but in retrospect, perhaps that is the point; they too are bored, stuck in a rut and then challenges with family surface.
Living cozily together in New York with a cat and each with a child of their own from past relationships, Willow (Talen Ruth Riley) and Lulu (Owen Shipman), Mingus and Marion are content with the status quo. That is, until Mingus finds out about a somewhat unexpected visit from Marion’s family in France that infringes upon their tiny living quarters. Cultural and lifestyle differences quickly emerge, aside from the language barrier that Mingus has with Marion’s father Jeannot (played by Delpy’s real-life dad Albert Delphy), her oversexed sister, Rose (Alexia Landeau), and her sister’s outrageous boyfriend, Manu (Alexandre Nahon) who may have even spent some time with Marion back in the day.
It is rated R and there is nudity and drug use. Manu and Rose just have to experiment.
My recommendation is that if arm twisting begins in your relationships about what film to see this opening weekend, compromise viewing this one as a matinee. There are other films I recommend seeing at the theater and at full price.