Although released in France under the title CRUSTACÉS ET
COQUILLAGES this lightweight comedy from the makers of
THE ADVENTURES OF FELIX has been retitled CÔTE D’AZUR
for its US release (and as COCKLES & MUSCLES in Great Britain.
It’s a mixture of two of France’s traditional film archetypes, the vacation
movie and the farce.
Married couple Marc and Beatrix (Gilbert Melki and Valeria Bruni-
Tedeschi) head to the titular location to a villa inherited from Marc’s
great aunt. The couple is coping with the fact that their teenage
children are growing up and becoming sexual beings. Marc is a bit more
uptight over the matter than Béatrix, who attributes her laissez-faire
approach to the fact that she’s half Dutch. Their daughter heads off to
Portugal with her biker boyfriend while son Charly (Romain Torres) plays
host to his gay best friend Martin (Edourd Collin). Convinced their son is
gay, Béatrix and Marc take different approaches to the “problem”: she
determines to be accepting and open-minded while he is more
Things get more complicated when Béatrix’s Parisian lover appears
and someone out of Marc’s past also comes on the scene. Events build
to a farcical climax that culminates in a musical number that feels tacked
on from another film.
The actors execute their roles with vitality and verve and the scenery is
gorgeous. I suspect how one reacts to the film will depend on mood
and what one finds humorous. In general, I enjoyed the movie, but I
could have done without the last musical sequence.
Viewed at NewFest at the Loews State Theater.
|Copyright 2005 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
|Côte d'Azur (2005)
(Crustacés et coquillages)
[Cockles & Muscles]