So runs the tagline for this 2012 comedy, a big hit in France and finally released in the US last month (no release date is so far set for the UK). Based on a play, Le prénom turns around the name (or rather, the reaction to the name) that thirtysomething couple Vincent and Anna have chosen for their unborn child. I won't give it away here but, as I'm sure you can imagine, it's not exactly Jean-Pierre or Frédéric.
Revealed at a dinner party with Vincent's sister Elisabeth, her husband Pierre, and their mutual childhood friend Claude, the name triggers astonishment, anger, outrage and disgust in equal measure. Described perfectly by one critic as a 'ping-pong verbal', the jokes, insults, barbs and banter flow fast and furiously between the five characters.
Le prénom is based on a play and, unlike Dans la maison, which departs radically from its theatrical roots, it appears to have been altered very little for the big screen. Almost all the action takes place in Elisabeth and Pierre's small apartment, and the film is incredibly wordy with each strong personality getting at least one dramatic monologue.
It's funny, and clever, and I can see why it was such a big hit, but Le prénom wasn't for me. Why? It's basically an hour and 45 minutes of people yelling at each other! I'm pretty conflict-averse, even as an observer, and I found it quite exhausting to watch. If you like witty wordplay and explosive family dynamics though, you'll enjoy this.
Have you seen Le prénom? If so, what did you think?