PARIS — Two high-concept comedies, both from Gallic mini-majors, Gaumont’s “I Kissed a Girl” and Pathé’s’ “Daddy or Mommy,” scooped the top awards at France’s 18th L’Alpe d’Huez Comedy Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday Jan. 17, at the Rhone Alps ski resort and Tour de France mountain climb finish.
Kudos will do nothing to harm the movies’ sales prospects as they screen for foreign distributors at the 17th Unifrance Rendez-Vous this weekend.
Released Jan. 28 in France, Gaumont’s “I Kissed a Girl” won Alpe d’Huez’s top Grand Prix, with star Pio Marmai (“Delicacy”) also taking Best Actor. He plays a 34-year-old gay man about to marry his longtime partner when he falls in love with a woman. “Girl” marks scribe-helmers Maxime Govare and Noemie Saglio’s feature debut.
Produced by Dimitri Rassam for Pathé, “Daddy or Mommy” won the Studio Cine Live Audience Award, the key fest plaudit for distributors. It stars Marina Fois (“Polisse”) and Laurent Lafitte (“On the Other Side of the Tracks”) as a couple getting a divorce. Both hsve great job offers on the table so compete not to have custody of their children, treating their offspring as badly as they can.
Alexandre de la Patelliere and Mathieu Delaporte direct. “Daddy” reps their follow-up to “What’s in a Name?” which punched $25.6 million in France in 2012. “Daddy and Mommy” played to large laughs from distributors at a Friday afternoon RDV screening in Paris, presenting its credentials as this year’s big Rendez-vous comedy hit. Pathé releases wide in France Feb. 4, in the same early Feb berth as Dany Boon’s “Nothing to Declare,” which grossed it around $62 million in France.
Paul Lefevre’s buddy-from-hell comedy “A Love You” (sic) won Alpe d’Huez’s Special Jury Prize. Following in the footsteps of Dany Boon, Gad Elmaleh (“The Adventures of Tintin”) was presented with a career achievement Isere Alpe d’Huez Festival Comedy Award.