Tanguy (2001) Poster


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Candy for boomers with stick-at-home kids. Extremely entertaining.
phranger23 March 2002
Tanguy Guetz is the single child of boomer parents (represented in a way far different from the buttoned-down standard model of US movies, but probably a whole lot closer to the American boomers who'll actually see the movie). At 28, Tanguy is staying home with his parents, and intends to go on staying home for a year or two, because he's extremely comfortable there, never has to pick up anything or handle any bills, and lives with the two people he loves most. The feeling of comfort is definitely not mutual.

But, as his parents mobilize for a get-out-of-here campaign, they meet the perfect stonewall. Tanguy is a major specialist of traditional Chinese thought, and he faces everything with an equanimity that a hundred-year-old sage would envy. The one-sided war escalates to the point where Tanguy sues his parents for bed and board, and wins. Eventually, he does fly off for a long stay in Beijing, and then, of course, the parents discover what it means to be the sandwich generation: Tanguy's grandmother breaks a hip.

The blows are softened by the fact that the Guetz are quite well off. Else the movie would cut too close to the bone to be the uproarious farce that it is. The main actors, Eric Berger (Tanguy) and Sabine Azéma (his mother) play their characters with contagious fun.
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Fun, thoughtful film
abendbrot26 June 2002
This film is hilarious--I saw it just today in Germany (in French with German subtitles). The first part goes into broad comedy, with the parents scheming to find ways to get their son to leave the nest. This film is just as much about the parents--even more--than the son.

i noticed that someone else commented about the Asian aspects of the film. At first, it really doesn't make sense, except to show Tanguy's fascination with the country, and almost as a goal (for the parents)--have him go to Peking as soon as possible. By the end, it's wonderful because there is a subtle comparison (that the audience must make) about the family situation. That is--the Chinese filial responsibility, love, and respect--and yes, there were three generations living under one roof. And in the Guetz household--all three generations have, at one point or another, lived under the same roof. That's just one way of looking at it. If you see it and go in with that idea of comparing cultural aspects of families, then maybe that would make better sense.
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very funny comedy (even if you cannot relate to it)
Penny A6 January 2004
I did not find the story unrealistic as other users have commented. Actually I know quite a few guys and girls -of different nationalities- that live or have lived with their parents not because they could not afford to live on their own but also because it is... convenient.

It is not difficult to understand why someone would still prefer to live with his parents under these circumstances - he lives as he would in an expensive and comfortable hotel (minus the bill!). Everything is taken care of by somebody else (cleaning up after him in the bathroom, laundry & ironing, bills, shopping, preparing dinner etc), he does not have to buy a car since he can use his parents' cars, he does not have to spend his money on everyday's life necessities and he can concentrate without a single worry in his mind on whatever pleases him (e.g. being an eternal student and having a different girl every night in his bed). In a few words : he's just spoiled. You can see when he tries to live on his own that he does not even make an effort, and immediately pre-judges that he could not possibly make it on his own. He does not want to live on his own and lose all the comforts he currently enjoys.

Plausibility of the story apart, I've seen the movie three times and each time I found it equally laugh-out-loud funny - a very successful combination of well-written dialogues and very good performances by the three lead actors (especially Sabine Azema and Andre Dussolier who are playing the two parents).
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Believe it or not, it's good
SithApprentice9 September 2005
Since I didn't enjoy "La vie est un long fleuve tranquille", I didn't expect too much from "Tanguy" when I went to the cinema. Surprisingly enough, the movie was good. I mean really good. Monsieur Chatiliez, the director of "La vie..." and "Tanguy", shows that french comedies can actually be a thousand times better than some modern American comedies. Because Tanguy has it all: this movie has a soul, charming and believable actors, a good script and well thought gags. The movie tells the story of Tanguy, a 28-year old guy who still lives with his parents. One day, his mother Edith can't take this situation any longer, and together with her husband she tries to get Tanguy out their home. It's easy to see that this storyline is a good basis for some great gags and funny situations; and the movie eventually succeeds. I left the cinema with satisfaction, because I saw one of the few intelligent - and most importantly funny - modern comedies. I recommend this gem to anyone who's tired of stupid and underwhelming American comedy-flicks like "Dumb and Dumber".
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home sweet home....
dbdumonteil27 March 2003
Etienne Chatiliez chose to broach a (rather dramatic) social phenomenon on a comedy tone: young adults who stay more and more longer with their parents. But his movie is far from the reality: these adults stay with their parents because they've got either financial problems, either psychological problems. But Tanguy doesn't suffer from both of these inconvenients, he comes from a quite wealthy family (his father is an architect and his mother a set designer. So, the movie articulates around a convenient but unlikely situation.

This doesn't stop Chatiliez from having made a lively movie, often funny, filled with numerous details that kick the bull's eye and powerful cues. In a way, his fourth movie (in thirteen years!) ranks in the tradition of his first film. You find a caustic and often cutting humor, some disagreeable situations for certain characters (and particularly his parents) and the destruction of a peaceful universe. All in all, Tanguy's parents wanted to make Tanguy's life impossible but they'll fall into their own trap.

The movie also enjoys a performance globally equal to the situation. Eric Berger, both nice and naive behind his student's glasses but also unaware of the problems he makes his parents endure. André Dussollier, entertaining in his role of exasperated and shattered father. However, Sabine Azéma hams it up a bit too often and his bombastic role fits badly to the screen.

At the end, Chatiliez showed talent, intuition and perspicacity to make an honorable success. You can just also regret that Tanguy's description lacks of vivacity and temperament. Maybe the fact of being (too much) keen on Chinese philosophy destroys anger or rebellion.
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Nice French comedy
rbverhoef29 November 2004
'Tanguy' is a nice French comedy, although it does not start that funny. It tells about a 28-year old guy named Tanguy (Eric Berger) who still lives with his parents. At first everything seems normal, but we slowly learn that especially his mother Edith (Sabine Azéma) wants him out of there. His father Paul (André Dussloier) basically wants the same thing, but at any cost. Tanguy himself has not a clue. Here the movie becomes funnier. The parents decide to make their house a terrible place for Tanguy; he must get annoyed of the place. Things do not work out as planned and slowly Paul becomes more and more upset with his son, especially after Tanguy has tried living on his own for a couple of days.

The story becomes darker and therefore funnier. Tanguy seems a lovable person at first but slowly we come to understand the parents. His mother is truly a nice person, but too nice when Tanguy is around. Instead of being honest with him she constantly makes sure Tanguy does not want to move away. When the father starts losing it the best parts of 'Tanguy' arrive. It is too bad that the movie is already playing for an hour and a half; this is where conclusions should have been made.

Another complaint I have is the save turn the movie takes near the end. Since both parents really started hating their son, certain other events help you understand why, you wish the screenplay kept following that path. The happy ending could have been the parents being really happy, butt the turn here is even saver. Not that it's really a big deal, I enjoyed everything that leads up to the ending. Not great, but certainly entertaining.
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A very funny French film, with little plot, but lots of charm.
gerry2319 February 2002
Tanguy made me laugh even though my understanding of French is far from perfect. The plot is simple - life in his parents Paris apartment is so pleasant Tanguy a post grad student is still there at 28 years old but his parents secretly want him out!

Sabine Azema (Tanguys mother) was so funny that she really made the film for me. Don't miss it if you like to laugh!
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A let-down
Bob Taylor3 October 2005
Etienne Chatiliez made three excellent films about families thrown into turmoil by the arrival of outsiders: Life is a Long Quiet River, Tatie Danielle and Happiness Is in the Field. In each of these, the idea was worked out beautifully until the end; the director was fully in possession of his talent. Alas, Tanguy just isn't in this class.

It starts off well; we are set up with the domestic discontent of a middle-aged couple whose son can't quite get on the career track. The endless dissertation, the plan to move to Beijing that doesn't firm up: we know all these quirks. After Tanguy's first trip to the hospital (Dad smacks him with a tennis ball) Chatiliez seems to go on auto-pilot for the rest of the picture. It's as if there wasn't enough inspiration to carry him through to the end. Sabine Azema and Andre Dussolier are superb as the parents; Azema has this wonderful attack of gas whenever she's flustered by her son, and that's many times. My rating is a compromise; 9 for the first hour, 3 for the rest.
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Original and fun
jrgirones17 May 2002
Enjoyable French comedy with funny scenario and inspiring cast. In a way, it reminds me Danny De Vito's "The war of the roses": how a simple idea (there, a case of divorce; here, dad and mom wanting to get rid of his 28 year old son) can be handled with such a black sense of humor, mixing fun and fierce satire at the same time. Unfortunately (and without giving much away), "Tanguy" resents a little from his length and refuses to go further on his almost surreal developed premise taking a kind and conformist turn in the end. Nevertheless, it's much more than entertainment: you'll be amused and will think about its subject after leaving the cinema.
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R. Ignacio Litardo24 April 2010
I watched this movie with so much hope! Dussollier, Azéma, beautiful Aurore Clément (from "Demain on déménage (2004)"), J. P. Rouve and many others, like always charming Delphine Serina (Avocats + associés) and a topic I am fond of paved the way for a killer Saturday night movie. I suppose that if you dislike the "philosophical grounds" of a movie, it's hard, almost impossible for it to work for you. I felt the parents were almost farcical from the start, when they "enjoyed themselves" when his adult only son wasn't with them at home, they basically did go out (something they could easily do with him still at home). In short, I found the kid too polite, peaceful and loving to be really hated. OK, he had some sort of "Peter Pan syndrome", and it's true he seemed to be all too comfortable at his parent's, but ... I just thought their (parent's) house was too posh and big, their reactions too violent (hiring thugs to kick your son out, wanting him dead when hearing there was a plane crash, teared apart his shirts etc., and erratic (Edith was suddenly loving and repentant until she found out her son wasn't actually dead, so was she when his son started suffering panic attacks, but not later). Tanguy is too perfect, if nerdy and unfaithful to his beautiful girlfriend. And probably too successful with (very beautiful on average) women he beds as effortlessly as we could say: "sneeze". Maybe that's French intellectual's prerogative, who knows :). His "rich and dumb" American clients are a big cliché that works.

Everyone will have his/ her favourite scene. Mine are Paul's fits of anger: Tu te casses!! (=Get away!) and when Tanguy argues on the phone with her mum until he grabs the phone and yells: "Stop the crap" in worse and thus very convincing, terms.

I think the film was illogical, and the 2nd part was actually awful. Watch without any expectation and you might be amused.
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Funny truths
IndustriousAngel29 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It's not the best comedy out there (or second-best), but it makes fun of a serious theme, has a lot of good (some very good) jokes, nice actors and good timing - time flies by with Tanguy, no scene is longer than necessary. What I liked most is that it's trying to play against expectations. Yes, he's living with his parents, but he's no loner or nerd; in fact he's hanging around with a new chérie every week (and brings them home, of course). He's an intelligent and confident man, but he loves his parents and enjoys living at hotel Mama. (This made the scene where he's suing his parents a bit unbelievable).

The end seems forced but seemingly, faced with a stubborn nemesis like Tanguy, even the scriptwriters had to revert to miracles!
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How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Out Of The House After They've Seen The World
writers_reign22 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I suspect this is more of a grey comedy masquerading as Black. Given that's it's about a relative - in this case a son - who's a pain in the ass it's tempting to see it as another angle on the same director's 'Tatie Danielle' where an aunt and not a son was the cause of friction but that would be to superficialize. Tanguy (Eric Berger) has it made; 28 years old, fluent in both Chinese and Japanese and earning good money as a teacher whilst completing his ph.D. A regular girl friend who's anxious to set up light housekeeping with him plus all the spare tail he wants. You're probably waiting for me to describe the kind of swinging bachelor pad that Sinatra used to have in movies like The Tender Trap but the twist is that Tanguy does all this from his parent's house and they've had just about enough thank you very much so they decide to 'encourage' him to leave by taking the cush out of his cushy lifestyle. But Tanguy is not just fluent in Chinese and Japanese he is also an advocate of Eastern philosophy so he turns everything around and smiles tolerantly if not quite inscrutably at all their best-laid plans. The long-suffering parents Edith and Paul (set designer and architect respectively) are played by Sabine Azema and Andre Dussollier, veterans at acting together and boy, does it show. Add a cynical aunt, Paul's mother (Helene Duc) whose constant needling finally spurs them to action and you have a cast that could make Bowling For Dollars seem like Moliere. A fine movie which addresses a subject that is now relevant in England if not other countries.
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a psychological masterpiece with slow escalation
Christoph Schulze27 January 2012
I really don't understand the bad ratings. Maybe a lot of the guys who voted like this see themselves in a similar situation? I think they just can't understand the parents. I watched the film with my parents and I am about ... well lets just say, there fits a lot. ^^ And watching this film was so intense. The characters are perfect. The successful father, who gets jealous; the mother pretending to everybody what a perfect family they are; the son - a single child - who enjoys giving away the ordinary responsibility. When the film begins they are still threatening him like there little boy. They are convincing or ignoring that he isn't any longer the little 14 year old boy. And a wonderful escalation begins.

My favourite scene (doesn't spoiler): I just say one word - navy uniform.

Amazing film.
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Grown Up
Guy22 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
TANGUY is a highly amusing comedy based on a very modern problem: grown up kids who don't want to leave home. The titular character is 28, finishing off his PhD, and quite happily bringing his girlfriends home. Frustrated, his borgeouis parents decide that if he won't leave them to their comfortable existence then they'll have to force him to go -- covertly, of course. So they embark on various bonkers schemes to get rid of their child. Inevitably many of the schemes rebound and the poor parents begin to melt down in the face of their child's awful behaviour. The jokes are varied: some are brilliant, others a little flabby and some too cruel for my taste (like the affair). Nonetheless it's a unique comedy that many parents (and some kids) will identify with.
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Failing to cut the umbilical chord, Tanguy hit a sensitive chord...
ElMaruecan8226 October 2016
With such colorful creations as the bourgeois and straitlaced Duquesnoy family, the crass and vulgar blue-collar Groseilles or the hilariously unfriendly Auntie Danielle, Etienne Chatillez created archetypal characters that shaped the vision of French family for many generations, through powerful social commentaries amusingly capturing the social flavor of the 80's and 90's.

And Chatillez proved he still 'had it' in the 2000's with the central character of his new comedy, Tanguy … and central is the word. He's the bright-looking fellow in the poster, triumphantly crossing his arms in his parents' bed. And from their not-so-enthusiastic stares, I figured he was an obnoxious guy, while in fact, he is the nicest and most loving son you'd find in any film. That's the mark of Chatillez, he doesn't let archetypes dictate his characters, his characters create the archetypes. The actor who plays Tanguy is Eric Berger, a face seldom seen in the French big screen (the actor who plays his friend, Jean-Paul Rouve, certainly had a more prolific career) but Berger is probably like Tsila Chelton for Auntie Danielle, a one-hit wonder but what a socially loaded hit.

Indeed, the film met with an immediate success as it raised the attention on a growing phenomenon, young men and women (but especially men) who can't leave the house. And Chatillez finds the right approach; he doesn't go for the obvious caricature. Tanguy is a bit of a baby child who has the same 'I love you' ritual with his parent, but that's the key of his personality, he created the sacred link, one that even the parents can't ignore. He made himself 'central' as the center of their preoccupations, but without any malice. If he was an obnoxious little prick playing house music or leaving chips in the couch, the film would have just been about throwing an intruder out of the house… and a much lesser comedy. But "Tanguy" works thanks to the titular character's good personality and how the perception by his parents gets gradually distorted.

Tanguy really deserves a few more words, because he is well-educated, of good bourgeois upbringing and a bright student, he teaches Chinese in his spare time, and he's a good tennis player and from his girls' loud moans, a good lover, he epitomizes the notion of a healthy mind in a healthy body, but still, in an unhealthy situation, at least, if we feel concerned by the mental health of his parents, played by French stars André Dussolier and Sabine Azema. The film opens while they're in denial and still find reasons to convince themselves to keep Tanguy, but when Tanguy announces that he must postpone his travel to China and work one more year for his thesis, they reach their breaking point, they know it's time to cut that damn umbilical cord.

Chatillez' humor is known to be quite dark and in every of his film, there are a few unpleasant tricks or pranks that can seem tasteless and rude, and even though I expected them, I thought the second act went a bit too far. I expected the parents to put Tanguy in awkward situations (making sexual noises, flirting with friends) but the parents go very quickly to the easy (and unpleasant) way. As a father myself, I felt disturbed by the sight of Dussolier putting a nail on the bathroom ground and cheering when Tanguy steps on it, there even comes a time where he hits Tanguy with a tennis ball, and I'm glad it was off-screen. I felt even more sorry for Tanguy because all through the film, he remained oblivious to his parents' cruel doings.

Or maybe did I empathize with him because I belong to that generation and I can understand to a certain degree how the world and the responsibilities of commitments can scare. The 'Tanguy' phenomenon is perhaps the most revealing aspect of the incertitude that governs our times, forcing fully grown-up adults to remain children so to speak. I always said that the baby boom generations are the privileged ones, so maybe that's the boomerang effect of their luck. Still, 'Tanguy" doesn't really deal with the real problems like unemployment or marital troubles that can drive a man to that corner, but it shines the light on an existing reality. And while keeping the tone in-line with this reality, the farce worked better than the uncouth tricks played by the parents.

The film could have done without these parts, especially since the acting of the two actors was clearly affected but what was so close to be parental abuse. But then they seem to be 'punished' for their actions, by some poetic justice, proof that Chatillez was fully aware that the way to success couldn't be paved by these cruel acts. Still, Chatillez should have focused on the cleverest part, the trial. It was a very smart move because Tanguy remained the most consistent character, and never lost his cool, and even on court, his arguments were sincere and loving. That should have been the final act, and not just one episode. The irony of "Tanguy" is that the parents drove the plot, but it's for their son's total obliviousness than the film works.

I often said that it didn't take much for Chatillez' films to work because he always had great characters to work on, "Tanguy" was a good film with good characters, Chatillez should have trusted them enough not to go for a too mean-spirited plot to be believable, and credibility has always been his strongest suit.
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portrait of adultescent
Kirpianuscus1 August 2016
an ordinary problem of XXI century as subject of a nice French comedy. good actors, seductive situations, the fight to impose to your son to start be independent, out of the comfort of his childhood home. the only problem - Tanguy is too quite to be the bad guy and, in a society of Peter Pan syndrome, the ironic portrait of a nice boy- young man does him almost a hero. Tanguy uses same clichés of French cinema who, after decades, are the key of success. Sabine Azema and Andre Dussollier are victims of the same image of angry parents looking impose to the son the need of assume of real life.Eric Berger uses same traits of charming young man who has his person, too precise vision about existence, mixture of passion for exotic domain and sentimental affairs. so, nothing surprising.
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A simple idea about housing problems in France has been elaborated by director Etienne Chatiliez with comic results.
FilmCriticLalitRao14 July 2015
Most young people lead a tough life in France. They are expected to leave their houses as soon as they have turned 16. For many, this is the start of a harrowing experience as they are not in a position to afford decent houses. A lot of these young men and women end up having immense financial problems too. For example : one can see young people shack up in maid's quarters called 'Chambre De Bonne'. Some of these young people are lucky to receive emotional as well as financial support from their parents. However, there are also many who do not enjoy this privilege. This social phenomenon forms the backdrop of a comedy film directed by French director Etienne Chatiliez. It depicts the life of a young admirer of Asian culture 'Tanguy" whose parents want to chase him from their house at all costs. Disguised as a comedy, Etienne Chatiliez's 'Tanguy" is for all sections of the society. Apart from drama, it has numerous elements of Asian culture as some portions of it were shot on location in China. In current times China and France enjoy strong sentiments of mutual appreciation. As a film 'Tanguy' must be viewed from an inter cultural perspective which allows people to respect each other's cultures, lives and tradition. This is precisely what is going to happen to the viewers of this film.
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Armand1 June 2015
the parents. and the only son. French comedy rules. drops of Asia in wise manner and right proportions. humor and subject for reflection. short, an useful film. about crisis, solutions for it, expectation, love in beautiful nuances, games and large pieces of impressions about love and cultural clash. a lovely film. interesting for the theme. strange for the way. nice for the science to remember the roots of relations between people. a movie who gives a lot - laughing, smiles, reflection support, landscapes and definition of society. part of a long tradition of French cinema, it is more than seductive. it represents a meeting. maybe, with yourself.
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Matija Trost29 May 2003
And charm. Or maybe it's just my sense of humor. Or maybe just not very likeable character (Eric Berger). Or to predictable and in some places sci-fi story. A too lovable parents one day and hostile the next day. Very unlikeable, don't you think?

Beside that, this movie is full of already seen comic elements which leads to some boring moments.

European movies normally has it's charm and there are some great French comedies in the market, sadly this one isn't one of them, and that's why only

3 out of 10.
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Interesting subject
Nicholas Rhodes4 December 2001
Saw this one recently and found the subject matter quite interesting, namely a 28 year old boy who doesn't want to leave the comfort of his parents' home. However hard they try to get him to leave he just won't go ! The film is a bit long and the idea wears itself out a bit by the end but the film is guaranteed to make you laugh ........... unless of course you have a child like Tangu !

I didn't see the relevance of the "Asia" element but presumably it was added in an effort to give "spice" to the film. Whatever the case, the acting is first rate and I think the film should in the coming months gain worldwide renown ( if indeed it is diffused in other countries than France ). If you've seen Tatie Danielle by the same cineast (Chatiliez) the caustic humour of this film is similar to that. Quite an original style and worth seeing !
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