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What’s in a Name | Review

How many times have you heard the phrase “If you want to stay friends with someone, stay away from religion or politics”?  Well, in the movie What’s in a Name, we get to experience both during an intimate evening with a group of family and friends.  Written and directed by the talented duo Alexandre de la Patelliere and Matthieu Delaporte who adapted this delightful film from their highly successful stage play, What’s in a Name tells the story of a slick real estate agent Vincent who is about to enter into fatherhood. During a dinner with family and childhood friends he announces the name of his future son, however a discussion about the scandalous moniker explodes into a feisty debate that brings the group’s past bubbling to the surface albeit with hilarious, dramatic and altogether unbelievable results.


What’s in a Name is an enchanting heart warming and often too realistic window into how relationships with family and friends evolve over time.  It explores the roles we play in a group and the grudges and opinions we harbor about each other that most of us never share.  Just what would happen if we could tell others what we really thought about them and their life choices?

Natural and convincing performances from a talented cast including Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui,  Charles Berling,  Guillaume de Tonquedec and Judith el Zein elevate this movie from a family melodrama into a witty and surprising black comedy that makes you feel like you really are that fly on the wall of this rather dysfunctional yet clearly affectionate group of people who argue with each other like it’s a national sport.  The smartness of this movie is further showcased by its ability to share Parisian life and attitudes to class, sexual orientation and political leanings.

The dialogue is witty, punchy and hard hitting at times but you are never far from a smile, a giggle or belly laugh whilst being equally moved by the writers’ ability to distill human behavior and basic emotions that if allowed to come to the surface reduce us all to six year olds in a playground

This charming movie, which has already been a huge hit in France, will be opening in theatres in the US on Friday 13th December and will also be available on VOD.  Check local listings


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