Sunday, July 9, 2017

VODebut for Anne Giafferi's baby-centric French rom-com, LOVE AT FIRST CHILD

About as manufactured and manipulative as a rom-com can get -- and you know how ridiculous this genre often is -- LOVE AT FIRST CHILD (its French title is the much more mundane, named-after-its-leading-characters Ange & Gabrielle) turns out to be, once you say "OK: I'll play along," a reasonably clever, enjoyable and funny example of this perennially popular movie species. The big difference here has to do with what exists at the core of it all: a surprise pregnancy that involves two generations.

As adapted (from a play by Murielle Magellan) and directed by Anne Giafferi (shown at left), with collaboration from Anne Le Ny, the film begins with an interesting enough premise: The mother of a newly pregnant 17-year-old arrives at the office of the father of the young man who has inseminated her daughter and demands that the father of this father-to-be take his son in hand and make him accept his parental responsibility. Fair enough, if a bit unusual. The  mother is played by the always luminous actress Isabelle Carré (below), and her character is as determined and insistent as you might expect for a caring, concerned but maybe a little-over-the-top mother.

It is regarding the father department that the situation grows more difficult. Not only does the father-to-be want nothing to do with the upcoming birth, but there's a bit of a problem with the new father's father (Patrick Bruel. shown below, right, with Thomas Solivérès, who plays his no-nonsense son). Much of the film's fun and conflict derives from this character, so to say much more would spoil some of that fun.

As the film unfurls, some of that earlier manipulation dissipates, due to the smart and charming performances, and Ms Giafferi's fast pacing (the film lasts only 91 minutes). By the finale, all kinds of romantic connections have been made, and there are a number of adorable babies on view.

So, for fans of this sort of thing, Love at First Child should prove a tolerable, and sometimes even better-than-that experience. (That's Alice de Lencquesaing, above, who plays the expectant young mother with the expected youthful energy and blithe disregard).

From Under the Milky Way, the movie hits VOD nationwide this coming Tuesday, July 11, on all major platforms including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Microsoft, Vudu, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Vimeo, and various other cable operators. 

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