100 minutes

Synopsis:  A portrait of a modern family, centering around 12 year-old Marius Vallois. Born in a wealthy family, Marius is the son of Marie Vallois, a successful CEO, who loves her son unconditionally, but Marius has never known his father and suffers greatly from it. When Marius starts shoplifting and doing badly at school, Marie decides to recruit a father figure for him. One day in her office building, she meets Robert Pique. He is a peculiar man who has a background in finance, but makes ends meet ironing clothes for his neighbors. Reluctant at first, Robert agrees to be paid to meet Marius and pretends to be his father. Marius immediately understands that Robert is not his dad, but very quickly, a deep bond develops between them.


Hollywood Reporter:
The story of a mother's effort to find a stand-in for the father her son never knew gets jokey, passably appealing treatment in "Monsieur Papa". The directorial debut of Kad Merad knows how to milk emotion and comedy to achieve the desired heart-tugging results but shows little interest in getting inside its three main characters, and crucially the kid, who seems scarcely troubled at all, either by the lack of a father or the charade being perpetrated upon him. World premiered on closing day of the annual City of Lights City of Angels French film festival in Los Angeles, the picture is too bland and child-oriented to make it as an import but conceivably has American remake potential.

Unable to sustain its wobbly premise, "Monsieur Papa" is an unremarkable directing debut from actor Kad Merad. Most of the problems lie with a screenplay that assumes the mom of a growing lad (and stalwart CEO of her family company) lacks the willpower to come clean about his long-absent father, inventing a substitute dad in the process. Hollywood remake options seem thin... Merad maintains the same subdued tone as an actor he brought to "Sticks," and his rapport with the barely likable Meier-Chaurand is at least credible. As a director, Merad is far blander. Laroque has an impossible task with the lose-lose role of Marie, but at least this pro keeps her head above water.


Michčle Laroque - Marie Vallois
Gaspard Meier-Chaurand - Marius Vallois
Kad Merad - Robert Pique
Vincent Perez - Jean-Laurent
Judith El Zein - Sonia


Directed by Kad Merad
Written by Luc Chaumar,
Emmanuelle Cosso and Anne Valton
Cinematography by Regis Blondeau

Theatrical release in France - June 1, 2011



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