7.3/10
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23 user 64 critic

What's in a Name? (2012)

Le prénom (original title)
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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.
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Patrick Bruel ... Vincent
Valérie Benguigui Valérie Benguigui ... Élisabeth
Charles Berling ... Pierre
Guillaume de Tonquédec ... Claude (as Guillaume de Tonquedec)
Judith El Zein ... Anna
Françoise Fabian ... Françoise
Yaniss Lespert Yaniss Lespert ... Livreur pizza
Miren Pradier Miren Pradier ... Infirmière bracelet
Alexis Leprisé Alexis Leprisé ... Apollin (as Alexis Leprise)
Juliette Levant Juliette Levant ... Myrtille
Bernard Murat Bernard Murat ... L'obstétricien
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fanny Thiennot Fanny Thiennot ... Student
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Storyline

A father-to-be and his very pregnant wife are invited for dinner by his sister and his brother-in-law. The setting is an upper-middle-class apartment in Paris. When the expecting parents reveal they intend to name their son "Adolphe", everyone else at the dinner is speechless. The situation eventually gets out of hand, when no one can come to an understanding, and everyone starts unearthing old rivalries and unspoken issues.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [France]

Country:

France | Belgium

Language:

French

Release Date:

13 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What's in a Name? See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is adapted from the play written by both directors, created in Paris in 2010 (théâtre Edouard-VII) staged by Bernard Murat, and sharing the exact same cast, except for the character of Claude, who was, on stage, played by Jean-Michel Dupuis. And of course, some minor characters have been added for the film : the two children, the pizza boy, and the hospital crew. Among this hospital crew, the doctor is played by Bernard Murat, who was the stage director of the play. 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

Remade as Der Vorname (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Elizabeth et Pierre
(uncredited)
Written by Jérôme Rebotier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
screen and stage
8 June 2013 | by dromascaSee all my reviews

'Le prenom' translated in English in the Shakespearean 'What's in a Name' is even more than an adaptation, it is almost filmed theater. Excepting the introduction which is funny but has little to do with the film and the final few minutes which could have been much better all the play ... sorry ... the film takes place in a Parisian apartment where five characters mid-class, mid-age meet for dinner and live the crisis of their lives triggered by a practical joke one of them makes related to the name of his baby-to-come. As in Polanski's 'Carnage' which brought to screen a play by Yasmina Reza, the border between theater and film is never really crossed. Actually this film/play is so close to Reza's style that I would have been fooled easily if they told me it's written by her.

Alexandre de la Patelliere and Mathieu Delaporte brought to screen Delaporte's play and it looks like they do not have any other ambition than bringing to broader audiences the same story of good friends discovering unknown truths and hidden aspects of each other's personalities. Every ten minutes or so we do have a new revelation, each one about another of the characters involved which will put at try family relations and friendships forged decades back, in childhood. There are no social comments of actuality and no political sub-tones if we exclude some references to the left vs. conservative stereotypes, and probably the most significant (and funniest) reference is made to political correctness, related to the selection of the name of the baby boy, but it is consumed unfortunately in the first third of the movie. However, this may play eventually in the favor of the text, keeping it timeless and helping it stay actual even if read and played many years or decades from now.

At the end of the day viewing 'Le prenom' is an enjoyable experience and this is due to the well written dialog (it's a filmed play, but a good one) and to the excellent acting. I especially liked the pair of brother and sister (Patrick Bruel and Valerie Benguigi) who succeed both to bring real-life nuances to their characters, supplementary to the complexity and wit which is derived from the text. Do not avoid 'Le prenom' if it comes soon on a screen or a stage close to your place.


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