Also with: Sophie Desmarets, Jean-Michel Dupuis, Consuelo de Haviland, Isabelle Nanty.
“Why Is Mother in My Bed?” is an airy but agreeable account of an enterprising tyke’s perceived responsibility for his parents’ splitand his efforts to get them back on a conjugal track. Gently amusing, visually snappy Gallic family offering pushes enough universal buttons to find a home on international tube slates, especially with a less antiquated title.
The rift starts when, feeling resentful about being the only kid in his class whose folks won’t cough up for a leather jacket, pre-teen Antoine (Benjamin Chevillard) swipes one from a boutique. With Pa (Gerard Klein) bringing home only a skimpy teacher’s wage, Antoine’s mother (Marie-France Pisier) determines that they need more cash to stay happy, so she takes a job as an ad agency telephone operator.
She’s swiftly upgraded to junior ideas woman, then to exec level, where she vastly out-earns her husband. His sense of inadequacy sparks marital spats and steers him into a dalliance with a private tuition student. Inevitably, he checks out, and Antoine, blaming himself, embarks on Operation Reconciliation.
The film gets off to a confusing start, with some unnecessarily jumbled narrative. But once moving, it breezes along at a sprightly clip, thanks to its spirited cast and stylish, vividly colorful look, which at times seems mildly reminiscent of Belgian breakthrough pic “Toto the Hero.”