Adapted from a Euro bestseller by Claude Jasmin, “Don’t Cry Germaine” is a kind of Belgian take on “National Lampoon’s Vacation” in which the perpetually bickering but resiliently intrepid Bedard family motors to Spain in search of new beginnings. Home will be where the coin is for this knockabout comedy laced with heavier issues, as regional humor will limit frequent flier miles to local markets.
Since the apparent suicide of their daughter Rolande, Gilles and Germaine Bedard (Dirk Roofthooft, Rosa Renom) have struggled to keep their marriage and family together. Persuading her blustery hubby to return to her Spanish Pyrenees hometown, Germaine rounds up her quiet teenage son, increasingly wild pubescent daughter Muriel (Cathy Grosjean) and mischievous young twins for an odyssey that turns into the inevitable endurance test: The kids have stashed their dead dog in the luggage, Gilles discovers a man responsible for Rolande’s death and various crises threaten to blow this family sky-high. Pic plays rougher than the synopsis, as the slovenly Bedards make the Griswolds look like attractive traveling companions. Tech credits are adequate.