Crowned the “most popular French-language film of 2017 worldwide”, Two is a Family (Demain tout commence) has a lot to live up to as it begins screening in Australia this week.
The dramedy stars Omar Sy (break out star from the 2011 film The Intouchables) as fun-loving bachelor Samuel, who’s forced to change his ways when an old lover reappears and leaves him with their infant daughter, Gloria (Gloria Colston). Although terrified by this new responsibility, Samuel eventually gives into his paternal instinct and strives to live the rest of his life being the best father he can be. He leaves his care-free life in the south of France and moves to London, finding work as a stuntman through a new-found friend: the outrageously charismatic Bernie (Antoine Bertrand), who becomes somewhat of an uncle to Gloria.
Eight years pass and Gloria’s mother (played by Clémence Poésy from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) comes back into the picture, wanting to form a relationship with her daughter. Her arrival causes a ripple effect, forever changing the perfect life that Samuel has built for himself and Gloria.
Directed by Hugo Gélin, Two Is a Family is, for the most part, an easy-going, feel-good film about the limits of parental love, the pains and joys of responsibility, and the fragility of life. The film takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster filled with a plethora of shocking, and sometimes pretty intense, twists and turns.
It seems Two is a Family takes its queues from the soap opera genre, resulting in a film which is undoubtedly entertaining and emotive, but unfortunely sometimes lacking in critical engagement with its characters and the events of the plot. There are a few moments, particularly towards the end of the film, in which characters make drastic decisions without any explanation, and key pieces of information are suddenly revealed, but at times which conflict with the logic of the plot.
If you’re out to watch a movie purely for entertainment value, and happy to overlook a few holes, then chances are you’ll enjoy this film. For better or worse, Two Is a Family is a fun watch, designed to make you laugh and cry- both of which I’ll admit to.
A highlight of this film was its soundtrack, complied by renowned compomer Rob Simonsen, known for his work on films like (500) Days of Summer, Life of Piand The Way, Way Back. With tracks from the likes of James Brown, Alexander Ebert (of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) and Arthur Lee, Simonsen works his magic yet again. The soundtrack paired with Sy’s captivating performance is a powerful combination, providing the emotive backbone of this film.
Two Is a Family may not be the most critically acclaimed film, but I get the feeling that its producers were aiming to maximise ticket sales rather than Oscar nominations. This is one of those films you can chuck on if you want to be entertained but you don’t want to think too much. In any case, its worth watching for its incredible locations, catchy tunes and for Omar Sy’s charm.
Two Is a Family is now screening at Cinema Paradiso, Cinema Windsor, and Luna on SX.