It’s that time of the year in Australia when the Alliance Française Film Festival is on. My first selection this year is Two Is A Family (Demain tout commence), directed by Hugo Gélin. It is clear from the onset that this movie wants to please the viewers – and tries so hard. Let me elaborate the story line first.
Samuel (Omar Sy) is an easygoing womenising larrikin, who we are led to assume, living off his older lover in Côte d’Azur. He works as the ‘captain’ of her yacht, that she rents to tourists to the resort. Then one morning, Kirstin (Clémence Poésy) arrives with a baby called Gloria, claiming that the baby is his – and abruptly leaves. In the baby’s bag, Samuel finds the baby’s passport – and the identity of the mother. Kirstin is from London, England – so, wanting to return the baby over, he rushes to the airport and flies to London. He soon discovers that Kirstin is very elusive – he’s stuck with the baby and ends up living with a French expat called Bernie (Antoine Bertrand). In order to survive in London, Samuel becomes a stuntman in local movie production – with Bernie as his agent. Along the year, Sam creates an illusion that the absent mother is a secret agent who has to travel continuously. He writes emails to Gloria that are purportedly sent by Kirstin, whilst also posting them to Kirstin’s Facebook account. For years, Kirstin never opens her Facebook – until one day. She reads through all of the emails, and decides to come to London …
If you are lost reading through the synopsis, I am not surprised at all. Two Is A Family is quite convoluted. Omar Sy does his best to charm us with his easygoing character, his smile, and his antiques, and so does Gloria Colston who plays Gloria. The movie has its highlights, but it seems like the story (apparently based on a Mexican movie, by Eugenio Derbez) tries very hard to make the audience laugh or cry. Everything is thrown into the story line that just simply doesn’t make sense at the end: a gay character for some comic relief, check; courtroom scene, check; a poignant death, check.
Two Is A Family is an entertaining start of the festival for me – but I wish the director had simplified the story or even focused on the plots that matter!