By William Wolf


One of the funniest films that I saw at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival was “C’est la vie!” Co-written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, it is a rowdy romp that takes place at a wedding being catered at a fancy chateau. It turns out to be a wedding from hell, with the caterer and his staff beset by problems from within and without.

Max, played to the hilt of exasperation by the noted Jean-Pierre Bacri, is fed up by a long stretch of dealing with weddings, but what is depicted on this occasion becomes the apex of trouble. Part of the problem is the result of personality quirks and demands of attendees. But there is also dissention within his staff with comical eruptions of anger and profanity.

Logistical difficulties also arise. On finding food spoiled, he has to send for emergency supplies from a caterer friend, which means delaying tactics to keep the guests in limbo.

To make matters more complicated, Max is having problems with his girlfriend, Joisette, played amusingly by Suzanne Clément. Max burns with jealously when she makes a point of flirting with a younger member in the company.

“C’est la vie!” is blessed with a colorful supporting cast and is loaded with funny slapstick, and although at times the doings get a bit much, there are always hilarious moments that come to the rescue. On balance you can find plenty of laughs in this depiction of a catering disaster that spoofs the profession, as well as people who plan their weddings with a view toward impressing their guests and themselves. Reviewed October 7, 2017.


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