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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
'Le Hasard Fait Bien Les Choses' (AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT) is a thoroughly surprising film. The marketing ploy makes this very well written (Julie Gilbert and Philippe Le Dem) and well directed (Lorenzo Gabriele) seem to be something it is not - a flashy fleshy gay flick from France. But what the viewer discovers soon after the film begins is a very tender story about the conflicts older gay men face in attempting to manage professional lives with personal lives.
Jean-Pierre Muller (the gifted Jean-Claude Brialy) is a highly respected professor in his late 50s who is about to be honored for his achievements in teaching by the University. He is a proper gentleman and kind human being who hides his personal life: he is gay and has a quasi live-in lover Armando (Antonio Interlandi) in a very successful though closeted relationship for appearance's sake (even his longtime housekeeper Ana - Elena Noverraz - apparently doesn't know)! All is smooth until a handsome young lad Antoine (Julien Bravo) is put before the court system as a minor who has lost his parents and needs an assigned guardian. In a strange law the judge (Anne Kreis) selects a random name (Jean-Pierre, of course) to be the guardian. Though Jean-Pierre is reluctant to accept guardianship for the somewhat feisty lad (who is encouraged by his girlfriend Samantha - Lorriane Cherpillod
to try to get some cash from the court order), he discovers that he
cannot appeal the decision for three months time. Desperate to continue his progress towards his desired honorary degree AND to keep his sexuality secret form the courts fearing they may hamper his chances, Jean-Pierre calls his 'arranged wife' Alice (Sabine Haudepin), whom he married to aid Alice's immigration status years ago, to be his 'front'. Alice, just dumped by her lover Grégoire (Juan-Antonio Crespillo) agrees, moves in much to Armando's chagrin, and the facade is in place. What occurs in this 'arrangement' is the resolution of each of the individual components in a manner that shows us that dignity, love, self-respect, and honesty are infectious and benefit all of us.
The cast is uniformly excellent without a weak link. Jean-Claude Brialy is superb as the self-conscious but loving centerpiece, and the air of comedy and sensitivity conveyed by Sabine Haudepin, Antonio Interlandi, Elena Noverraz, newcomer and very promising Julien Bravo, and Anne Kreis are pitch perfect without ever stooping to stereotypes. This is a film for both gay and straight audiences who appreciate the manifestations of love, healthy relationships, caring, social problems, and understanding would enjoy. In French with English subtitles and unfortunately no extras on the DVD. Recommended. Grady Harp
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