Babou (Isabelle Huppert), a single hippie mother, has been leading a frivolous, careless life, changing men, jobs, and countries as often as she could. However, after some time she discovers that her only child, Esmeralda (Lolita Chammah), now 23, has had enough of that juvenile behaviour and gypsy lifestyle. During a dinner the girl announces that she wants to get married. Then, quite callously, she disinvites Babou to her forthcoming church wedding, allegedly out of fear that her mom might shock both her prospective in-laws and other guests as well. Babou is not stupid and she can take a hint, even if it is painful. In order to prove that she is a responsible adult like any other bourgeois parents she accepts a job selling timeshare apartments in Ostend, a rainy, lackluster seaside Belgian town. Will she be able to keep that job and reconcile with Esmeralda? Who knows?
It was supposed to be a funny dramedy (drama+comedy) but it didn’t work for me, not quite. There was not enough drama and really comical scenes I could count on fingers of just one hand.
Despite a fantastic Huppert performance (she is, after all, one of most gifted French actresses), effortless and quite funny, the plot consisted of worn-out clichés. A parent who must learn to grow up for the benefit of her much more conservative child. A happy-go-lucky gypsy doing better as a real estate agent than her more experienced colleagues. A woman who doesn’t do relationships and treats men in her life like objects. A pretty naïve woman, when I come to think about it, really ‘too stupid to live’ from time to time. In fact I had an impression I watched a theatrical play, not a movie, especially that plenty of scenes featured just two or three actors who talked and talked and talked… Babou’s altruistic friendship with a homeless couple of contemporary nomads sounded to me especially off. Still the soundtrack was original and nice.
A movie which could have been far more interesting if only the director avoided this and that cliché, at least from time to time. Meh.