Two out of three ain’t bad. Le Parisien magazine describes this delightful bit of fluff as ‘Smart, touching and hilarious.’ The first two it certainly was, but as for the last – there was barely a chuckle at any point from those seated with me in the brand new viewing room at the State, part of this NoHo icon’s continuing upgrading. Yet being so strong in the ‘smart’ and ‘touching’ categories are enough to place ‘Just To Be Sure’ in the top bracket. It was an excellent treat with which to commence a new year in film watching. Hugely popular in its home country, French director Carine Tardieu delivers a product that gives out the warm and fuzzies in large doses.
And the question that could be asked is related to its leading man – is he the new Depardieu? François Damiens, recently so superb in ‘The Bélier Family’, again shines in this. Not attractive at first glance, he does possess that certain something, an X factor. Here he plays a lonely widower whose world is turned upside down when he discovers he has another father – and sets out to find him. Parallel to this a chain smoking, feisty family doctor comes into his life as a love interest. She also hungers for the human touch. Only trouble is, her genes are potentially much closer to his than would be comfortable. She’s played by the usually radiant on screen Cécile de France who glams down for this production
This is a comedy of coincidences and crossed purposes – and if that isn’t enough, Erwan (Damiens) is also about to become a grandfather. His daughter, though, refuses to divulge the name of the dad. Could it possibly be the dolt who assists our almost overwhelmed lead in his day job as a bomb disposal expert? This film doesn’t exactly go off with a bang, but it urges all of us to take our chances in life as it subtly infiltrates its way into our hearts.
It was one of the success stories from last year’s Cannes film festival and perhaps I’d be at fault if I didn’t mention that both the main leads are not French. Indeed, they are Belgian.
Trailer of ‘Just to be Sure’ = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN46DCFr2Y0