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Film / Family Resemblances

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Family Resemblances (Un air de famille) is a 1996 French comedy film directed by Cédric Klapisch, starring Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Catherine Frot, Vladimir Yordanoff, and Claire Maurier. It is an adaptation of a homonymous play by Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, with the same cast. Every Friday, the Ménards have dinner together in a restaurant. The family is made of Philippe (Vladimir Yordanoff), an executive in a computer company, his wife Yolande (Catherine Frot), his brother Henri (Jean-Pierre Bacri), the owner of a brasserie, his sister Betty (Agnès Jaoui), who works in the same computer company, and his mother (Claire Maurier). This time it will be a special evening: it is Yolande's birthday, Philippe is nervous about an interview he gave on TV and Henri's wife has left home.


Family Resemblances provides examples of:

  • Awful Wedded Life: Philippe and Yolande. Philippe does not seem to care much about his wife. He cancels her birthday trip, because he has an interview on TV for his job.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Betty confronts her mother after the latter complained she was vulgar. Her speech is mainly about Parental Favoritism and the way her mother treats people. Betty defends her brother Henri more than herself.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Betty
    Yolande: (talking about a dog) Comment ça s’entretient ? (How to take care of it?)
    Betty: Tu l’arroses une fois le matin, je crois. (You have to water it once every morning, I think.)
    • Denis. For example, after being shouted at by Philippe, who orders him to buy a light bulb, he says he feels like pleasing him.
  • Dinner and a Show: The film is about a family dinner going awry.
  • The Ditz: Yolande. She even thinks the necklace that Philippe gives her is for the dog.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Henri does not like it when his brother Philippe calls him Riri.
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  • The Film of the Play: A faithful adaptation of the 1994 play of the same name. The cast of the film is the same as the one of the play.
  • The Ghost: Henri's wife. She sets in motion the events of the film when she leaves home, but we never see her.
  • Housewife: Yolande has no job. She takes care of her children.
  • It's All About Me: Philippe is only obsessed by the impression he made on TV. He does not care much about her wife's birthday or the fact that her sister-in-law has left home.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Betty and Denis make up in the end, as well as Henri and his wife.
  • Shoutout: The name of Henri's brasserie Au père tranquille is similar to the title of a 1946 film by René Clément (Le Père tranquille).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Betty (Agnès Jaoui) and his sister-in-law Yolande (Catherine Frot).
  • The Un-Favourite: Henri compared to his brother Philippe. Betty reproaches her mother for that.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Henri does not want his family to stay in his brasserie to support him after his wife has left home. He would like to be alone.

Alternative Title(s): Un Air De Famille


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