Le Premier Jour du reste de ta vie (The first day of the rest of your life)
Wow, what a movie. I rated it 10/10 on imdb but I wanted to give it more.
Essentially, nothing out of the ordinary happens and it could almost be a documentary. We meet the Duval family consisting of the father, the mother, and the 3 kids (2 sons and 1 daughter). On the outside they seem like your typical, average, everyday family who live in a big house in the 'burbs.
But as the film progresses, we get to know the inner turmoil of each of the characters, as they deal with life's ups and downs and getting older. In particular, we see the mother become sad, unhappy and somewhat unfulfilled when the oldest leaves home for the first time and the other 2 kids are growing up rapidly. She must be in her 40s but somehow reverts back to her 20s. She enrols herself into university and starts dressing younger and becoming 'hip' and 'cool' much to the disgust of her daughter (the youngest child).
We see the father battle with his nicotine addiction and his neverending quest to stop smoking, aided by his children. (on another note, I found it interesting that people smoking seem to feature in every French film whereas I know in Australia, and the US too I think, it's illegal to feature someone smoking unless the film is rated accordingly). Although I've never smoked in my life and find the habit abhorrent, I did feel sympathy somewhat for his character.
Next we have Raphaël, the (hot ;) ) eldest son. The story starts on the day he decides to put their old, sick dog to sleep, and that he is moving out of home for the first time. I'm not sure of his age at that stage but it must be somewhere around 20. It starts off a chain reaction of events...
At the beginning of the film the daughter is around 12 years of age, and we watch as she grows up and goes into the difficult teenage years. In some ways the relationship between Prune and her mother reminded me of the relationship between Lola and her mother in the film LOL. Both girls are pre-occupied with boys and trying to grow up too fast.
And then we have Albert, the middle child and second son. In his story he has a flash back to 6 years ago when he met the love of his life but she got away... (I don't want to give spoilers so I won't say anymore).
Even though all of their 5 stories are distinct, they are always intertwined with each other since they are a family and although they may not seem close on the outside, they are in fact very close and there for each other.
About 3/4 of the way through something unpredictable and shocking happens, although I actually predicted it because something similar happened in another French movie (won't say which one). and that almost creates a different timeline for the future...
One of my favourite scenes is near the end with the 2 sons and their father where they are bonding like they were when the boys were young, and the father is reunited with one of his old schoolmates. It is such a sweet, tender, and extremely funny scene (not to mention extremely imaginative on the writer's part).
Actually I have so many favourite scenes (including the one with daughter's diary) I could go on and on. This movie really touched me and I felt that it would touch everyone as there was something in it for everyone. We have all been through the highs and lows, the happinesses and the sadnesses of life... What's interesting is that the English title is "The first day of the rest of your life" which is the literal English translation but in some countries it's called "The first day of the rest of my life" and it may as well be, the first day of the rest of my life, your life, or anyone's life really.
Trailer (but don't watch it if you don't want to know too much):
or link here.
Rémi Bezançon has certainly created an amazingly emotional film that will stand the test of time and that everyone regardless of age, sex, or background can relate to.
Premiere.fr (French version of imdb I guess) with lots of viewers' comments
another French movie review site