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France 1975
Directed by
Jean-Charles Tacchella
95 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Cousin Cousine

A big hit in its day when such Francophone fare was considered "art-house", this soufflé-light satirical comedy exemplifies one of the genres which the French do so well - the family reunion film.

Reunions occur periodically throughout the film, starting with the wedding that makes sister and brother-in-law of the main characters, Marthe (Marie-Christine Barrault, niece of Jean-Louis Barrault) and Ludovic (Victor Lanoux). The film deals with their relationship as it grows from companionship to romance within the context of their extended families, which are infested with the usual assortment of human foibles including a typically Gallic emphasis on philandering, particularly thanks to Pascal (Guy Marchand), Marthe's husband, and Karine (Marie-France Piser), Ludovic's wife. Tacchella and co-writer Danièle Thompson unlike Bunuel for instance, empathising with the shortcomings of their self-preoccupied bourgeoisie rather than excoriating themdeftly craft their narrative, embroidering the charmingly insouciant love story between two worldly adults with the antics of their variously neurotic relatives.




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