Exploring Foreign Films With Maddie Crichton: “Et Soudain Tout Le Monde Me Manque”

Maddie Crichton ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Et Soudain Tout Le Monde Me Manque

This week, the French foreign film theme continues with the lighthearted dramedy “Et Soudain Tout Le Monde Me Manque” (“The Day I Saw Your Heart”), which follows the relationship between a father and his two adult daughters.

Eli Dhrey (Michel Blanc) is an overbearing father who announced on his 60th birthday that he and his girlfriend are having a baby. His two daughters, Justine (Mélanie Laurent) and Dom (Florence Loiret Caille) are shocked by the news, and the rest of the film follows the nine months leading up to the birth of the child. The movie focuses specifically on Eli as he meddles with his daughter Justine’s love life by befriending all of her ex-boyfriends.

Out of the three foreign films I have seen since my journey with the genre began, this film is easily the closest to American cinema. It has many of the cliché themes that we see in our most popular films. It has the ability to make the viewers laugh, and then cry moments later. Sappy background music played at the end of every pivotal scene, and most of the songs, in fact, were American. However, these clichés were by no means a bad thing. They made the movie endearing and engaging, and helped it keep a light tone even when the characters were facing bad times.

What I really liked about this film was that it had the ability to connect to a wide audience. While so many films focus only on young people, this one looked at both the young and the old. It showed what relationships look like for twenty-somethings who need to get their lives together, for couples already in a serious relationship looking to settle down, and for older couples who are starting their lives fresh.

The way all these relationship statuses and ages contrasted made for hilarious dialogue. The cast played off one another very well, especially Michel Blanc and Mélanie Laurent. They built a hysterical father-daughter relationship between Eli and Justine that was both entertaining and relatable. The two were able to show complete frustration and love all in one scene.

The director, Jennifer Devoldère, did an excellent job creating a realistic situation and putting every single emotion on the spectrum into it. Everything that happened, while frequently cliché, was still believable and raw. She balanced these two ideas together perfectly.

Week three into foreign films and I am enjoying every minute of it. These movies are similar to what we see in Hollywood in some ways, but also have their own unique concepts too. So far, I’ve seen some great pieces, and hopefully this continues. This genre is full of so many diverse characters and stories, and with any luck next week’s pick continues this pattern.

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