In case there are any academics/pseudo-intellectuals etc watching the first thing to say is that the title is not a direct translation from Turgenev, or even Hemingway. What we have here is a gentle comedy woven around our old friend the dysfunctional family. For better or worse this movie is going to be sold on top-billed Phillipe Noiret, arguably the best Italian (if we don't count Yves Montand) actor France has ever produced (witness his 'Aldo' in 'Cinema Paradiso') if not also the best South American (viz: his Pablo Neruda in 'Il Posto'). One of the old guard of French cinema - Michel Piccoli, Jean Louis Trintagnant, Michel Serrault - he couldn't turn in a bad performance if he tried so that just by turning up on the set he is going to save a bad script or enhance a good one. This is somewhere in between. Apart from Noiret none of the other principals means anything outside France and some of them are not even going to draw flies at the domestic box office. That aside this is a fairly decent effort and as good a way as any to beguile an hour or so. Patriarch Noiret, like Adam, has three sons, the anal-retentive businessman, the loser and the ho-hum, to say nothing of a doctor brother, who kick-starts what plot there is. In the wake of a health scare and some tv documentary footage featuring whales, Noiret contrives to unite the family via a trip to Montreal combining a whale hunt. The results are predictable but nevertheless enjoyable, laffs, tears, trauma plus a cutesie 'did he or didn't he see it' wrap shot. See it if you're a father, a son, or even a transvestite nun.
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