Antoine moves home to help his mom drive the mobile grocery, when his dad's hospitalized. He brings Claire along, hoping she'll become more than a friend. He drives around Provence's countryside, selling mainly to old people.
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Antoine Sforza, a thirty-year-old young man, left his village ten years before in order to start a new life in the big city, but now that his father, a traveling grocer, is in hospital after a stroke, he more or less reluctantly accepts to come back to replace him in his daily rounds. Back in the village, accompanied by Claire, a young woman he loves but who hesitates to commit herself, he does the job half-satisfactorily. Too blunt, not in harmony with the locals, he offends them more than he serves them. Fortunately Claire, who has more business acumen, helps him to improve his skills. On the other hand, the relationships are tense with his brother François and even worse with his father, who despises him. So when the latter is back in the village, the situation deteriorates...Written by
Director Eric Guirado spent time observing actual village merchants as research for the film. See more »
When Antoine brings his mother to his apartment at the beginning of the movie, they enter from the staircase via a white door. Few seconds later when he exits the apartment to bring coffee to his mother from his neighbor, he exit to the staircase via the brown door. See more »
Diverting, heartfelt variation on a familiar theme
Le fils de l'épicier/The Grocer's Son (Eric Guirado, 2007) traverses well-worn ground in an appealing way. Nicolas Cazalé is agreeably gruff as the titular character, the Prodigal Son returning to the family he left behind (You Can Count on Me, In My Father's Den), whose pastoral existence is in stark contrast with the hubbub of the metropolis (I Know Where I'm Going!, Local Hero, Doc Hollywood).
Arriving with his almost-girlfriend, he takes on his ailing dad's rounds, finding both solace and frustration in the work. It's a bit erratic, with a couple of stretches that just consist of Cazale handing out food and an ending that's slightly rushed, but there are enough offbeat laughs and telling episodes to make it worthwhile. It's also a bit darker than you might expect, or at least more fraught.
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