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The Verneuils are Catholic. They are also a well-off, well-educated , well-intentioned, well-thought of couple. Everything would be for the best in the best of worlds if three of their daughters had not married three young men... of different religions and origins. So, the day their fourth girl tells them that she is going to marry a Catholic they are on cloud nine...Written by
Funniest film at the Rochester Jewish Film Festival
The French movie Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu? was shown in the U.S. with the title "Serial (Bad) Weddings (2014)." I would have preferred the translation of the French title--"What have we done to God?" (The point being, "What have we done to God to make him send us these four sons-in-law?") The film was co-written and directed by Philippe de Chauveron.
Christian Clavier plays Claude Verneuil, and Chantal Lauby plays his wife, Marie Verneuil. They have four beautiful daughters. One has married a Chinese man (presumably Buddhist), one has married an Israeli Jew, and one has married an Algerian Muslim. The fourth daughter announces that she is engaged to a Catholic!
What makes these marriages "bad," is that the Verneuils are very French, and very Catholic, and none of their first three sons-in-law was born in France or is Catholic. However, they are all intelligent men and excellent husbands. The weddings are more or less "bad" in the eyes of the Verneuils, but not necessarily in the eyes of anyone else but their priest.
What makes the fourth marriage--to a Catholic--"bad" makes up the plot of the movie. It's not subtle, but it is funny. My wife and I laughed aloud at several scenes, and so did the rest of the audience.
I entitled this review "Funniest film at the Rochester Jewish Film Festival." The Rochester International Film Festival committee made a real effort to find funny films, but none of the other comedies RIJFF presented struck me as very funny.
This film is funny, but it isn't Jewish. It's true that one son-in-law is Jewish, but he's just there to fill out the set of three non-Catholic spouses. I think it's fine that this film isn't truly a "Jewish" film, because I like the fact that RIJFF reaches out beyond the strict definition of films that a Jewish Film Festival should show. And, unlike the comedy/drama combinations at the Festival, this movie was pure comedy. My thought about the other "comedies" was that the drama weighed down the comedy, and the comedy weighed down the drama. Not for this film--it was simply a very funny movie. No real drama--just comedy.
We saw this film at Rochester's Dryden Theatre as the closing night presentation of the highly regarded Rochester International Jewish Film Festival. It will probably work a little better on the large screen, but it will be fine on the small screen as well. I highly recommend it.
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