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Un couple épatant (2002)

In the first installment in director Belvaux's trilogy, Alain's eccentric behavior causes his wife, Cecile, to hire a detective to follow his every move -- which yields unexpected results.


Lucas Belvaux


Lucas Belvaux

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8 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ornella Muti ... Cécile Costes
François Morel ... Alain
Valérie Mairesse ... Claire
Dominique Blanc ... Agnès
Gilbert Melki ... Pascal
Lucas Belvaux ... Pierre
Catherine Frot ... Jeanne
Bernard Mazzinghi Bernard Mazzinghi ... Georges
Raphaële Godin Raphaële Godin ... Louise (as Raphaele Godin)
Patrick Depeyrrat Patrick Depeyrrat ... Vincent (as Patrick Depeyra)
Vincent Colombe ... Rémy
Pierre Gérard Pierre Gérard ... Olivier
Jean-Baptiste Montagut Jean-Baptiste Montagut ... Henri
Anne Delol Anne Delol ... L'infirmière
Joss Philopémon Joss Philopémon ... Le chauffeur de taxi


The first installment of the trilogy focuses on Cecile. She is a teacher who is still madly in love with her husband Alain, a hypochondriac who is convinced that a routine operation will take his life. He doesn't want to alarm his wife, and she mistakes his secrecy for an affair. Enter Pascal, who is hired by Cecile to track Alain, but who falls in love with Cecile instead. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and thematic elements | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Diaphana Films [France]


France | Belgium



Release Date:

1 January 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein tolles Paar See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,572, 8 February 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$47,602, 18 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The titles of the three films that form the trilogy "Un couple épatant", "Cavale", "Après la vie" were meant to form also the title of the trilogy: "Un couple épatant cavale après la vie" "An amazing couple riding after life" See more »


Follows Après la vie (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Genre and the 180° rule
15 February 2018 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

A few minutes into the movie «Un couple épatant», after you recover from the startling first impression and acknowledge a categorical change of genre in the second installment of Lucas Belvaux's trilogy, the film flows at a rapid pace, as the story advances and unravels the chain of misunderstandings that lead the titular couple to suspect each other of adultery. Belvaux goes from the violent drama of "«Cavale» to the comedy of errors with precise humor and feline grace, and those who have seen the first installment will know that there is a dramatic background, represented by the characters of that other story. However, even without knowing their personal histories in depth (the man hiding in a country house, the arrested woman, the drug addict and her policeman husband), all fit like clockwork in this story: lawyer Alain (Morel), an obsessive hypochondriac, dramatizes a minor surgery and hides it from his wife Cécile (Muti). He begins to dictate his last will to a tape recorder (a testament that is modified every time his affection for his inheritors changes, according to the plot twists) and entangles his loyal secretary Claire (Mairesse) and his medical friend (Mazzinghi) in the farce. But Cécile smells something fishy and does not sit on her hands: she hires the services of policeman Pascal (Melki). Things get more and more complicated with every gesture, word or action, which have an opposite charge to the real one, according to each spouse's perception. Belvaux's narrative skill is in top form and leaves us curious about the closing of the trilogy. After this change of register, from a stark drama to a paranoid comedy, my curiosity about the outcome was awakened.

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