The signs of the recovery of the film industry are not deceiving. Theaters may not yet be allowed to open to their maximum capacity, but the beautiful season is already having its first blockbuster American the Black Widow from Marvel / Disney studios, and now its traditional French comedy of manners, Each home. Directed by Michèle Laroque who has also given herself one of the main roles, this disembodied comedy, weighed down by a mindless scenario, features a couple arriving at retirement forced to welcome in the family home their daughter and her boyfriend, expelled from their apartment.

Catherine (Michèle Laroque) and Yann (Belgian actor Stéphane De Groot) lead peaceful lives in an opulent house, long planning this great trip they had promised themselves to make in retirement, Yann having recently sold his business ready-to-wear, which does not happen without disrupting his daily life. Their relationship is therefore not entirely serene, Catherine going so far as to encourage her darling to consult a shrink to cure his recent obsession with the cultivation of bonsai.

For their part, their daughter Anna (Alice de Lencquesaing) is working hard to return her thesis to Science Po in time and her friend, Thomas (Olivier Rosemberg), suddenly loses her job as a travel agent – a detail that he will hide from his girlfriend for a while – and the accommodation they occupied. Broke and homeless, Thomas takes advantage of a supper with Anna’s parents to feign his interest in bonsais and thus gain the good graces of Yann, who offers the couple to live with Catherine and him while their Things get better, a prospect that immediately gives Anna a headache.

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It could have been neat. It should have been funny. Let’s go over the inevitable comparison with the excellent Tanguy (2001), by Étienne Chatilliez, to explore the other resources that could have been deployed to move this story forward a little. Couples relationships that have their ups and downs, for example, regardless of age. The clashgenerations, undoubtedly the most promising vein, reduced here to a string of clichés – when Mylène (Laurence Bibot) advises her best friend Catherine to help her get rid of her daughter and her intruding son-in-law, she lets go: “Kids are like cockroaches: it’s hot, there’s something to drink, to eat, they don’t leave anymore!” “

There are quite a few lines in this comedy that will make you smile and a handful of silly situations, but most of the gags actually raise your eyebrows – Each home abuse of misunderstandings with strings so thick that we see them being tied and untied long before the punch arrives. The screenplay, signed Julien Colombani (his first) and reworked by Laroque, is unfortunately heartbreaking, and he even sees the story get carried away during the last quarter of the film in a rush of incongruous incidents leading to the benevolent finale.

Alice de Lencquesaing and Olivier Rosemberg are the two actors who are doing their best, forming a convincing couple. On the other hand, De Groot, in his role of comic valve, constantly appears beside his pumps. The disproportionate presence of Michèle Laroque on the screen, in a nightie in front of her mirror, in tennis with Mylène, singing atrociously Gaétan Roussel during a karaoke party at the end of the film, does not compensate for the absence of charm of this film, his second as a director after Brilliant (2018) which, according to French critics, was anything but that. Wish him the best of luck for his next comedy, Then we dance (with Thierry Lhermitte, Jeanne Balibar and Patrick Timsit), which is scheduled for release in 2022.

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Each home

★★

Moral comedy by Michèle Laroque. With Michèle Laroque, Stéphane De Groot, Alice de Lencquesaing and Olivier Rosemberg. France, 2021, 84 minutes. Indoors.

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