It's the end of the school year. The long-awaited moment of summer vacation has arrived. Little Nicolas, his parents, and Grandma head to Hotel Beau-Rivage by the seaside. On the beach, Nicolas quickly makes a new set of friends: there's Blaise, who isn't on vacation because he lives in the area, Fructueux, who likes everything, even fish, Djodjo, who doesn't speak like them because he's English, Crépin, who cries all the time, and Côme, who always wants to be right and who is very annoying. But Nicolas also gets to know Isabelle, a little girl who always looks at him with big, round and worried eyes, and who Nicolas believes his parents want to force him to marry. Misunderstandings accumulate, blunders begin. One thing's for sure: for everyone, this will be an unforgettable vacation.
In the subtitles of the broadcast on SBS Television (Australia), Marie-Edwige's name is given as 'Mary-Jane'. This reflects the English version of the books, where all the children bar Nicolas and Rufus have Anglicised names. See more »
The sandcastles built by the architect are built using sand other than beach sand. This can be seen by the difference in the colour of the sandcastles and the surrounding beach sand, even allowing for the addition of water. See more »
Credits at the start and finish of the film appear on holiday postcards. The credits at the beginning also include some animations on the cards. See more »
I can say, for sure, as all of Goscinny's work, this film will delight kids and grown-ups alike. For children, there's a lot going on for Nicolas and his family during a vacation moved from the mountains to the sea. But for all of us who like light-spirited films as deep ones, this one breaks barriers seldom seen in recent times. If you want to be thrilled by technical issues that will not scream "I'm here" during your first watch, please, watch it again! They designed this film with much more detail than even Goscinny's stories when they were depicted in its time. Color is of the essence. And here, designers got their hands on it as if it was the end of the world. It's stunning, to say the least, the use of color and textures to make this film a truly memorable feat of design. Photography, on the other end, is superb. The night scenes are beautiful and luscious. The time-warp costumes and color matching of absolutely everything helps a lot in telling the story. And to cap it all, the cars are all of the era, and not just "period" cars. They chose a line-up of beautiful museum quality, colorful and perfectly matching cars with specs for the time-frame of the film. If you love the Facel-Vega, Citroën, Peugeot, Renault, Simca... you're in for a treat.
Watch the kids! Watch dad and mom and granny! They are great. Of course, there may be some flaws, but I see them as part of a funny, uplifting, absurd and very very French film. What cinema should always be: entertaining and beautiful, no matter the subject.
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