By Vincent PLUSS


Drama - Completed 2002

A recently divorced father sets out to win over his ex-wife and kids. Taking along a work buddy without letting him in on the plan, Jean-Louis drops in on his little family that has relocated to the south of France. Too hurried to explain himself he drags everybody into an explosive week-end.

    • Year of production
    • 2002
    • Genres
    • Drama, Comedy
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • FRENCH
    • Director(s)
    • Vincent PLUSS
    • EIDR
    • 10.5240/F6B2-675F-612D-DAE5-7EC1-0
    • Producer(s)
    • Vincent PLUSS (Intermezzo Films), Luc PETER (Intermezzo Films)
    • Synopsis
    • Jean-Louis is a young father who attempts to win-over his ex-wife Celine and their two kids from whom he's been separated by a year of silence and a thousand kilometers.
      The film opens on the freeway at night. Jean-Louis is driving a van stuffed with all his crummy belongings. In the death seat sits François, a new work acquaintance, who believes to be on the way to a quiet week- end by the sea. Jean-Louis stares at the road, too anxious to ponder, to hurried to explain himself.
      The van pulls into a little Provence village at dawn and Jean-Louis barges into his family's sleepy house. His irrational conduct drags everybody in a tornado of absurdity. He tries to play perfect dad with his kids by making crepes and throwing a pillow fight. Knowing he can't justify his being here to Celine, he bets on surprise, charm, laughter and physical contact. François who was left sleeping in the van discovers the family as he is forced to immediately enter Jean-Louis's game. Then Fred - Celine's new man - walks in. Now it's Jean-Louis's turn to be surprised and question his son Gabriel: didn't he mention...? But the kid turns it around by creating confusion: he introduces François – the workmate - as his dad to Fred. François plays the part, Jean-Louis snickers, Celine is blind to what Is going on while Dune, the 7 year old girl thinks it Is all very funny.
      In order to celebrate Dune's recent birthday they all go on a pick-nick. The sky is dark and tension arises as Fred discovers he has been made fun of. In spite of the cake, the candles and the songs, the adults start the blame game: Celine criticizes Jean-Louis's immaturity, his laziness, his fickleness. It turns ugly and Jean-Louis and Fred get in a row. François soothes the situation and Celine promises that the next day, the kids will spend the whole day alone with their father.
      The morning after Jean-Louis is mortified by how badly he screwed up. He has got to straighten up, apologize to his children and win back his ex-wife. François pushes him to reveal his desires, the truth must come out. But when Jean-Louis gets to Celine's house, Fred won't let him in: Celine changed her mind and prefers that Jean-Louis comes back another time, calmly and better prepared. Jean-Louis looses it and demands to talk to his ex-wife. In front of the kids again, the adults explain themselves. All is said, it's raw and ugly. Jean-Louis reveals his project of moving back in with his family: He left nothing behind, Celine must give him another chance. And there was that phone call from Gabriel... The kid has to explain himself, the truth is out finally: he doesn't like Fred and his influence on his mother. Celine gets mad at her son and at Fred who's yelling at Gabriel. Jean-Louis has had enough and wants to leave. But he can't find Dune. She's not in the house. They search for her all over the village to discover her... driving the van in circles on the parking lot. Panicked, they run behind screaming for her to stop. Finally she does. Celine screams at her, releasing her accumulated fear and tension. Fred holds Celine in his arms. Jean- Louis takes his two kids for a stroll. As they enjoy a moment of peace and sharing, Jean-Louis starts to find what he came looking for.