Mathias, a penniless fifty-odd-year-old New Yorker, lands in Paris. Both cynical and at the end of his tether, he looks forward to selling the mansion house his late father owned in the Marais district. But what he finds out there just appalls him: his secretive dad had never told him he had acquired the property as a life lease, a typically French custom he never heard of. As a consequence, not only will poor Mathias be unable to sell the house into cash (at least as long as Mathilde stays alive) but he will have to pay the old lady a pension into the bargain...!Written by
Lefebvre says he bought his boat with a viager and that he was lucky because the owner died six days later. Under French law the seller must live for at least 20 days after the contracts are signed. See more »
Midway through the credits, Mathias reveals his final decision on what he will do with the apartment and why. Additionally, after the end credits Mathias asks LeFebvre where he learned to speak English. See more »
The whole film is shot in Paris and many of the scenes are simply drippingly gorgeous. It is a very charming movie, with some heavy undertones and one I will watch again. There's a good message in it. Loved Dominique Pinon as the real estate agent. Kristin Scott Thomas is so good, mixing up mean and nasty with tenderness and self-awareness. Maggie is a stitch and just superb! Kevin excellently portrays a man who is down and out, carrying around emotional baggage. Stéphane Freiss always seems to play a neurotic Frenchman, but he does frenzied well. Many times I laughed out loud in this movie! I've studied French my whole life, but learned a new word in this movie: viager. I am surprised critics have come down so hard on it. But, I am almost as old as Kevin Kline, I adore Paris, I love movies where you can laugh and still be brought to tears and ones that have a good message.
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