A Happy Event
- Director:Remi Bezancon
- Cast:Josiane Balasko, Louise Bourgoin, Pio Marmaï
- Release Date:July 05, 2012
- Running time:105 minutes
- Film Worth:$16.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Shifting between light, quirky moments and heavier drama, it’s tonally a little muddled, but inventive and touching.
At the beginning of Remi Bezancon's A Happy Event, PhD student, Barbara (Louise Bourgoin), enters the video store of clerk, Nicolas (Pio Marmai), where they proceed to rapidly exchange movie titles as de facto pick-up lines, with Barbara cheekily escalating the flirtation by finally presenting Catch Me If You Can. It's a creative and amusing sequence that quickly establishes the romance between the couple while also setting the initial tone for the film's narrative, an often quirky, if realistic, examination of the effects that pregnancy and new parenthood can have on a relationship.
The film boasts charismatic lead performances, particularly from Bourgoin, and is peppered with offbeat pop culture references and inspired surreal dream sequences. This gives the film an appealing, unique quality which works well with the brief romantic scenes in the film. But it's a style that also often comes off as uneven when matched with the more heavy issues that the film deals with in its third act, such as the pain of childbirth, the challenges of motherhood, and the difficulties of rekindling romance while looking after a newborn. Similarly problematic is the short shrift given to establishing the relationship between Barbara and Nicolas, a sequence virtually presented in fast forward, which while inventive, ultimately provides a slightly shaky foundation for the film's narrative. The effect is a sense of disengagement with the couple's plight, as it's difficult to gauge the effect that the more pertinent issues are having on their relationship, given that the audience is never really shown how the pair interacted in the first place.
Despite these problems, A Happy Event remains inventive and engaging with many highlights, particularly the finely observed scenes between Barbara and her newborn daughter. In these moments, Bezancon deftly captures the simple love between mother and child, eliciting scenes in which the surrounding pressures feel temporarily forgotten.