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What's in a Name? (2012)
"Le prénom" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  13 December 2013 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,912 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 15 user | 62 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Vincent
Valérie Benguigui ...
Élisabeth
...
Pierre
Guillaume de Tonquedec ...
Claude
...
Anna
Françoise Fabian ...
Françoise
Yaniss Lespert ...
Livreur pizza
Miren Pradier ...
Infirmière bracelet
Alexis Leprisé ...
Apollin (as Alexis Leprise)
Juliette Levant ...
Myrtille
Bernard Murat ...
L'obstétricien
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Storyline

Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

13 December 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What's in a Name?  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end credits are designed like a family scrapbook and show many of the cast and crew members on vintage private photos. See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) Claude turns down the volume of the stereo, but he is turning on the wrong wheel - it's not the amplifier but the cassette recorder. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits only the first names of the actors, producers, directors... are written. See more »

Connections

Version of Il nome del figlio (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Un Diner a Paris
By Aidje Tafial Quintet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wit and Drama Around a Dinner Table in Paris
9 June 2013 | by (Quezon City, Philippines) – See all my reviews

"Le Prenom" is about a group of five middle-aged friends who are having a Moroccan dinner get-together one night. The hosts are Pierre (a literature professor) and his dutiful wife Elisabeth (nicknamed Babou). Claude is a professional trombonist who was Elisabeth's best friend. Vincent is Elisabeth's joker of a brother, whose wife Anna is pregnant with their first child.

It was the matter of naming Vincent and Anna's unborn baby boy that starts us off in this adventure of bitter wit and sharp barbs all within the confines of Pierre's apartment. From a heated argument about the name Vincent plans to give his son, their conversation devolves into more serious and painful matters about each other's secrets they have been keeping from each other all these thirty odd years they have known each other as close friends.

"Le Prenom," with its confined action and lengthy dialogues, felt like a play. The passionate cast, led by Vincent Bruel and Charles Berling, were also acting like stage actors with their over-the top, exaggerated (therefore not too realistic for film) reactions and exclamations. I found out afterwards that it was adapted by Mathieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere, based on their 2011 stage play.

This script of this film is reminiscent of a 2008 French play by Yasmina Reza called "Gods of Carnage", made into a film called "Carnage" by Roman Polanski. That play/film had two middle-aged couple whose arguments begin from a fight between their sons to topics totally different from what they started talking about.

As with other foreign language films, I felt a lot of the humor and wit is lost in translation into the English subtitles. Especially in a very wordy screenplay like this one with practical jokes and secret revelations, so much subtleties in the use of language is expected, and I surely missed. This is already very good as I watching it, but I have a feeling French-speaking people found it even better. I will definitely watch a live English language performance of this play if there was one.


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