Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul (2012) Poster

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7/10
Stumbling upon and into
kosmasp27 June 2013
Sophie Marceau is still able to enchant men (and probably some women too along the way). Apart from her obvious good looks she's also a good actress, which she has proved in other movies as well (one with Monica Belucci comes to mind though I forgot the title). And while she's not the lead role here, she is second to the man with issues. The good thing is, her character is not just some woman, but is fully fleshed out as well.

While our main character has obvious issues, we still root for him. Not all his moves might feel logic, but life does take crazy turns sometimes. His "fear" is a bit underplayed I guess, but that is not really that bad a thing. Actually you might credit the movie for not making it a bigger issue. You will see where this is going, but that doesn't take the fun of getting there.
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7/10
A Nutshell Review: Happiness Never Comes Alone
DICK STEEL5 December 2012
The 2nd Rendezvous of French Cinema returns this week, and coincides its opening night with ScreenSingapore to add a little bit of glitz and glamour to the latter event, having Sophie Marceau headlining the ensemble of invited cast and crew of films being featured in this year's edition. Many would associate the actress with sensuousness and beauty, but how about, physical comedy?

Yes, Sophie Marceau does what would be as close to slapstick as she can get, showing off some perfect comic timing in her role as a Calamity Jane type as Charlotte Posche, a woman we first see having trip and fall flat, face down onto a concrete sidewalk, have a key thrown at her face, before finally getting splashed soaking wet by a car speeding parallel to a waterlogged road. We learn that she's quite well connected by virtue of her marriage to rich industrialist type Alain Posche (Francois Berleand), although her marriage is now on the rocks, having been separated for two years.

But the film opens with the other protagonist, the singleton Sacha Keller (Gad Elmaleh), a musician whose routine includes playing at a jazz bar, performing with friends, and picking nubile girls up for one night stands. He's the quintessential swinger without commitment, until the aftermath of a disastrous client meeting puts him in the path to bump into Charlotte, and not before long, these two opposites start to attract, where one is obviously of a different social standing than the other, and the other obviously in it for what he would initially thought of as temporary, since older women are not his (nor his friends) type.

What makes this oddball romantic comedy work, are the constant surprises that are contained in the story by the wife-husband team of Sonja Shillito and James Huth, with James also taking on directorial responsibilities. Just as when you least expected, the strangest, quirkiest, and comical situations happen to either, or both of the characters, especially when they turn into klutzes, providing opportunity for either actor to show that they have it in them to do comedy, and very physical ones too. I admit to have gasped out loud for some of the stunts put on screen that would be miracles if not injuring its cast.

And making it quite real world to think about, especially for the single guys who are living the lifestyle as what Sacha is doing, is the notion of having to find a soul mate who just so happens to be divorced (or going to be divorced), twice, plus already having 3 kids from two different fathers, each exercising some clause to pop by every now and then. Especially if one is averse to the antics of attention-sapping children, with kid's vomit being a running joke in the movie. It's one thing about wanting to be with someone, and another when the baggage that comes along tests one's resolve and sincerity, given that the option to walk away, is always easily available, which is something keenly explored in the movie as well, since habitual changes usually calls for a massive modification of beliefs, and not everyone's cup of tea to leave one's comfort zone.

Most of us would be familiar with Gad Elmaleh if we had watched Priceless where he starred opposite Audrey Tautou, and here his makeup and costuming made him look a lot older as the musician and jingle composer at the cusp of a professional breakthrough, as well as a breakthrough on the personal romantic front in finally finding someone, only to realize things can get quite complicated. He brings about a touch of goofball zaniness when his character had to deal with kids, up close and very personal. But the scene stealer is of course Sophie Marceau herself, balancing the thin line between chic, and motherly, while looking good either way when tackling both facets of her character's life.

Happiness Never Comes Alone is quite apt for a title that ultimately champions the sanctity of family, and makes quite the good poster-child for pro-family policies where you'd have something dysfunctional, corrected in this feel good romantic comedy. It works as intended, offers surprises only on the comedic front, and has two excellent leads to bring some romance back into the air again.
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7/10
Happiness Never Comes Alone
SConIrish9 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
James Huth's film which he also wrote with Sonja Shillito celebrates Hollywood cinema. It references classics like Casablanca, Singin In the Rain and West Side Story but plays more like Moonstruck and Notting Hill for its melding of romance and slapstick humor. Even the soundtrack features largely soulful American music. It's glitzy, formulaic and contrived but helped by two charismatic performers has enough charm to make it a crowd pleaser.

The film begins with Sacha Keller (Gad Elmaleh), a musician playing at a jazz bar, and picking up girls for one night stands. He has everything a single man would want until he bumps into Charlotte (Sophie Marceau) and before long these two opposites are in bed and in love. This is the type of film where the girl hails a taxi and get drenched as the car drives by a huge puddle of water or falls down a flight of stairs simply to get up and walk away with minor bruises. The films commitment to slapstick is at times grating but more often charmingly old fashioned. Complications in the relationship occur with the revelation that Charlotte has three children from two failed marriages. But let's face it not every single mother looks like Sophie Marceau and soon Sacha is experiencing the joys of parenthood. The kids are not too cute and obnoxious which is a blessing. The youngest boy throws up and complains "I don't like you." The older girl recruits Sacha to help her with her mathematics homework. That and two ex's one played by the terrific François Berléand in strong ruthless mode. After the trial and tribulations of struggling to make it work you know these two are meant to be together because they each have posters of Casablanca in their bedrooms.

Huth directs with a light touch and the first hour is the best. He wraps it all up nicely, it's better than most of the product coming out of the American studios these days. Elmaleh and Marceau make it work; they have the chemistry to carry off the romance and comedy with aplomb. The soundtrack is a highlight blending the music of Etta James and Stephanie Mills. James belting out A Sunday Kind of Love is glorious.
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1/10
Gad Elmaleh's auto promo vehicle, not for Sophie Marceau fans
dutchtom11 March 2015
This film is only for those who are entertained by "comedian" Gad Elmaleh. He takes up most of the time. Sophie only appears once in a while (another good pay-check for her, though). Gad's type of slapstick humor is really unbearable: the frenetic piano playing, the continuous narcissistic showmanship, the tired old battle of the sexes quips, and his buddies and their clique-y in-crowd--jokes - that must be witnessed by all else around them, because really the joke is on every one else, for paying even a smidgen of attention to these unpleasant creatures. Who wouldn't wanna be part of this social circle, right? Not!

Decor wise it's all a big chaos as well. The only places of relief are the outside Paris exteriors.

Moreover this film is pure propaganda for everything that's wrong with France these days. Absolute conformism to hierarchic capitalism is portrayed as completely normal (even desirable); proposing a further degeneration of the three basic principles of French culture: liberty, fraternity, and equality. The characters think nothing of it, that they have to subject themselves to humiliation and maltreatment from "powerful" people (for example the ape like record company director barking at Gad through Skype - like an African despot). To an immigrant like, Elmaleh, this role reversal might be hilarious, but the native French people are fed up with this degeneracy. Me and my buddies wil bring your once civilised country down, and I'm gonna rub your faces in it. That is the main purpose of the film, I got it loud and clear, from picking up on all the subliminal messages mockingly thrust in my face as "comedy."

This product is reprehensible on all levels.
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