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A young Italian, living in Paris with his French wife, is about to become a father. Before the baby is born, Alberto must repay his father for every expense from his own birth until he left home. It's a family tradition, virtually a family curse. With little money in hand, he jumps on a train to Italy, the "Alberto Express," to return to his father. During the journey, he tries scheme after scheme to secure a windfall. En route, he also has a magical encounter with generations of his paternal ancestors, each of them adding again and again the sums owed them by their sons. Written by
I cant believe there are no other comments of this film thus far. I originally rented this about four years ago solely based on the fact that Dominique Pinon is in it. Now, to my disappointment, he has maybe a total of five minutes screen time, but the film is still excellent. Basically our main character is about to become a father and what he doesn't realize is the deal that his father made with him to pay back EVERY single debt he ever incurred throughout childhood and beyond, was sincere. The beginning scene with dad and his adding machine is hilarious! Realizing this, he goes on a quest that involves leaving his about-to-pop-any-minute wife behind to see what he can do to either satisfy the debt, or come up with a sly way of getting out of it. He spends most of the film on a train (The Alberto Express, presumably) where he encounters many different personalities, eavesdropping, and ultimately, thieving his way through all the passengers in order to come up with the aforementioned funds. A hilarious romp that includes his dead ancestors coming to him to shed light on the "family tradition" and a wonderful small role as the engineer by the always excellent Pinon. The only thing that makes me give it a 9 instead of a 10 is the fact that it is never really made believable what the leverage is the father has over the son and his new family should he not repay the debt. Other than that, I highly recommend this to anyone that has a dry, dark sense of humor and to those who like strangeness bordering on surrealism. This could almost be a Raoul Ruiz production or even a light version of Bunuel.
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