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Jean-Pierre Muller is an intellectual with a quiet life. One day he receives a letter of the Government saying he's been appointed tutor of troubled kid Antoine. He files a request to refuse it but the more he tries to get away from the responsability more he gets involved and has to face important issues in his life. Written by
The character which Jean-Claude Brialy portrays, Jean-Pierre Muller, was born in 1946 in the film, making the character approximately 55 at the time of production in 2001, while in reality, Brialy was born in 1933, making him approximately 68 at the time of production, a difference of 13 years. See more »
I enjoyed As Luck Would Have It (Le Hasard Fait Bien Les Choses) so much, I watched it two days in a row. It's that lovely a film, and hard to believe that it was made for TV, though from a few other French TV movies I've seen, I shouldn't be surprised.
Jean-Claude Brialy (a French actor with a superb resume dating back to the 50s) portrays Jean-Pierre, a university professor of a generation for whom being gay had to remain a deep dark secret. Brialy would seem to have everything, a satisfying and prestigious job, a luxurious apartment, a caring housekeeper, and a very handsome and much younger Cuban boyfriend Armando, played by dancer Antonio Interlandi. But rather than be proud of this relationship, he hides it from the world, to the consternation of Armando.
Fate (Le Hasard) intervenes when Jean-Pierre is obligated by law to take charge of Antoine, a musically talented 17 year old orphan, played by Julien Bravo. In order to squirm out of this obligation, Jean-Pierre asks his long absent wife (yes, he married 10 years ago to satisfy his mother and to give Alice (Sabine Haudepin) Swiss citizenship) to help convince the judge that his is not a proper home for Antoine.
At times this film reminded me of The Birdcage (because as in that film, Jean-Pierre must hide his gay relationship from a world he fears will not understand it). The resemblance is only superficial, though, as As Luck Would Have It never allows its characters to become stereotypes.
I did wonder for a minute if an overweight 60ish closeted professor could possibly have such a handsome and well-built 30something boyfriend in the real world, however casting that doubt aside (Brialy has been a movie star leading man for well over 40 years, after all), the film won me over with its warmth and humor.
Besides Brialy, who is excellent as one would imagine, there is also Interlandi, who creates a truly believable gay character, never overplaying Armando's gayness (I'd be surprised if the actor turned out to be straight, he's that spot on perfect). Haudepin, who apparently began her career as a child actress, is a wonderful comedienne; Elena Noverraz has lovely moments as Jean-Pierre's Portuguese maid, who suspects a lot more than J-P could imagine; and young Julien Bravo, in his first film, shows both talent and movie star looks (the camera loves him) as the initially rebellious Antoine.
There are many comic moments in this movie, but ultimately it was the heart-warming ones that truly got to me. Get your handkerchiefs ready for the last 20 minutes of the film! This is a great film for gay and straight audiences alike, with a wonderful message of love and acceptance, and a film that gives hope that yes, things are actually changing for the better, at least in certain parts of the world.
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