You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

God, My Mother’s Lover, and the Pork-Butcher’s Son

Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva

Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva

With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet.

An interesting cast and a faintly amusing plot idea do not quite combine for kneeslapping comedy in “God, My Mother’s Lover, and the PorkButcher’s Son.” The title alone, which is just as ungainly in the original French, gives a foretaste of the awkwardness apparent throughout this attempt at ensemble comedy. An unconvincing sendup of infidelity in the provinces and mischief in the very young, “God” will soon be gracing Europe’s video stores and the occasional cable broadcast.

Helmer Aline Issermann, whose commendable last pic was “Shadow of a Doubt,” has here decided to pick on provincial life through the device of an amateur theatrical production. The various vanities of small-town notables are nicely noted, finely drawn and fairly predictable. The principals of the cast, with the exception of Richard Bohringer, seem only half-persuaded of the utility of the whole enterprise.

Gabrielle (Lio), a lissome mother of three and wife of the local doctor (Francis Huster), has been faithfully rehearsing her part as Elvire in an upcoming amateur production of Moliere’s “Don Juan.” She has been less faithful in her heart: Serge (Bohringer), the town hairdresser and ladies’ man, who has the title role in the play, has caught her eye. Neglected by her overworked husband and flattered by the advances of her smoothie co-star, she seems ready to take the plunge into adultery.

Her children, played by the son and nephews and nieces of Issermann, see the coming consummation as a disaster. They poison a pig’s-head pate that will be eaten onstage by Don Juan, but a comic mishap intervenes. Eventually the snickering of the gossipy supporting players in the play dies down, as does the alarm of the children once it’s obvious the doctor and his wife are ready for reconciliation.

Charming in its abundant use of shtick and banter by supporting actors, “God” nonetheless seems like an in-joke that’s not terribly funny. Pic’s kids, scripted as malicious, never really rise above standard-issue cuteness, and Huster, a major presence in Parisian theater, seems to be on an absent-minded holiday throughout the proceedings.

Lio, whose performance in Marion Vernoux’s directorial debut, “Nobody Loves Me,” won justifiable praise a couple of years ago, looks luminous, soulful and totally unconvincing as a somewhat uninteresting homemaker stuck in the sticks.

Doubtless there are parallels between the play-within-the-play and the goings-on in the larger story, but audiences will have been too worn down by pic’s insouciance to draw them with any pleasure.

When not lingering too long on the kids, pic looks and moves well — though Maritza Gligo’s smart costuming does not bespeak a provincial backwater — and a couple of striking dream sequences show helmer Issermann’s debt to her sideline as a rock-video maker. But the promise held out by the silliness of the title, unfortunately, is kept.

God, My Mother's Lover, and the Pork-Butcher's Son

(FRENCH)

Production: A Ciby Distribution release (in France) of a Ciby 2000 production, Executive producer, Eric Langlois. Directed, written by Aline Issermann,

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Philippe Pavans de Ceccatty; editor, Marie-Jo Audiard; music, Gipsy Land; production design, Cyr Boitard, Sebastion Bircher; costume design, Maritza Gligo; sound, Eric Devulder, Laurent Kaglio, Thierry Delor; assistant director, Muriel Lacalmontie. Reviewed at Rialto Theater, Nice, July 27, 1995. (In Toronto Film Festival.) Running time: 91 MIN.

More Film

  • Viacom Halts 'Padmavati' Release After Religious

    Viacom Halts 'Padmavati' Release After Religious Uproar

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

  • EuropaCorp Sells French TV Production Unit

    Luc Besson's EuropaCorp Sells French TV Production Unit for $13 Million

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

  • IDFA: Syrian Comedian Looks for Fresh

    IDFA: Syrian Comedian Looks for Fresh Start in France

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

  • Wonderstruck

    ‘Wonderstruck’ Colorist Joe Gawler on How Film's Multi-Period Look Was Created

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

  • Sarah Jones

    ICG President Steven Poster Pushes On-Set Safety, Slams Government’s Anti-Union Stance

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

  • Isle of Dogs

    Production Designer Adam Stockhausen on Building Wes Anderson's Worlds

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

  • On Body and Soul Hungarian Movie

    Hungary's 'On Body and Soul' Wins Top Award at Camerimage Film Festival

    Serge Richard Bohringer Gabrielle Lio Jean-Mare Francis Huster Henri Jean-Pierre Kalfon Jean Guy Montagne Felix Luis Issermann Alice Marie Issermann Cecile Anne Issermann Pierre Martin Issermann Dressmaker Emmannuelle Riva With: Jean-Francois Perrier, Michele Hauppenot, Jean-Paul Farre, Heldi Brouzeng, Idwig Stephane, Michel Bonnet. More Reviews Film Review: '12th and Clairmount' TV Review: Lifetime’s ‘I Am Elizabeth […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content