5.7/10
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5 user 30 critic

Change of Plans (2009)

Le code a changé (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 27 August 2010 (USA)
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1:57 | Trailer
So called friends at a dinner party end up acting like a dysfunctional family.

Director:

Danièle Thompson

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karin Viard ... Marie-Laurence 'ML' Claverne
Dany Boon ... Piotr
Marina Foïs ... Mélanie Carcassonne
Patrick Bruel ... Le docteur Alain Carcassonne
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Sarah Mattei
Christopher Thompson Christopher Thompson ... Lucas Mattei
Marina Hands ... Juliette
Patrick Chesnais ... Erwann
Blanca Li Blanca Li ... Manuela
Laurent Stocker ... Jean-Louis Mauzard
Pierre Arditi ... Henri
Jeanne Raimbault Jeanne Raimbault ... Doris
Isabelle Cagnat Isabelle Cagnat ... Mme Bollet
Marc Rioufol ... Daniel Laurent
Cyrille Eldin Cyrille Eldin ... Le démonstrateur (as Cyrille Eldiri)
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Storyline

So called friends at a dinner party end up acting like a dysfunctional family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

27 August 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Change of Plans See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,378, 29 August 2010

Gross USA:

$46,714

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,514,765
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 118494 delivered on 23-1-2009. See more »

Crazy Credits

The recipe of Roman Polanski's bigos, the meal used in the film, is given. See more »


Soundtracks

"Concerto pour flute et harpe'
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

 
'Change of Plans' is helped by sharp wit and realistic characters
1 April 2011 | by d_artSee all my reviews

In this French comedy directed by Danièle Thompson and written by Danièle Thompson and Christopher Thompson, the story centers around a summer dinner party where ten acquaintances come together for food, wine, and friendship, while trying to cover up their own personal troubles. Consisting of mostly middle aged couples, if they are not having affairs, they are dissatisfied with their life, or going through family issues. With an all-star ensemble cast from France, the characters each have their own story which are intertwined with one another.

I admit I'm generally turned off by "comedies" involving infidelity. There are always some dislikeable characters, the "comedy" isn't really funny, and rarely have I ever seen a good ending. The poster for Change of Plans displayed multiple characters from the chest down playing footsies under a dinner table, which reminded me of a typical episode from Three's Company. Add to that, a film that boasts an "ensemble cast" usually suffers from a lack of focus and over-simplified storytelling. To add, this is a French film, whereas a subject like this is as typical as a British outdoor breakfast scene on PBS.

Unexpectedly, though, I enjoyed this film. True, there's a typicality to the situations in this film, but it was well-executed. I appreciated the snappy dialogue, the character interactions, and the surprisingly poignant moments. Its wit is sharper than many films of this ilk. The characters react realistically. Dialogue drives this film more than the situations. Admittedly, the characters are relatively jaded and cynical, which adds to the humor. I found it interesting that the film isn't as interested in the affairs of the characters as much as it is about reconciliation. Advertisement

While the centerpiece of this film is the dinner party amongst a group of friends and colleagues, a good chunk of the film is shown in flashbacks, revealing back stories of many of the characters, as well as the relationships that develop after the party. We are told these middle-aged characters have children, but we never see them—perhaps it helps the film keep its focus. We are introduced to ML (Karin Viard), a divorce lawyer, who hosts the dinner party. The guests consist of her teacher Manuela (Blanca Li) from her flamenco class, her husband Piotr (Dany Boon), and her younger sister Juliette (Marina Hands), a costume designer who is dating a much older man Erwann (Patrick Chesnais). There's also the kitchen designer Jean-Louis (Laurent Stocker) who designed ML's new kitchen, oncologist Alain (Patrick Bruel) and his gynecologist wife, Melanie (Marina Fois), who secretly wants to end their marriage and run off with her lover. Attorney Lucas (Christopher Thompson) arrives to the party with his wife Sarah (Emmanuelle Seigner), who is Piotr's old college flame. An unexpected guest is ML's father, Henri (Pierre Arditi), who has had a strained relationship with Juliette ever since he had run off from the family.

Thompson manages to keep the stories working together logically. When characters change, it's realistic. The film moves at a leisure pace, but is always interesting thanks to the film's characters, dialogue, and occasional poignant surprises. Admittedly, those who already have problems with talky French films with subtitles will not have their minds changed here. I enjoyed the zigzag table conversations and different topics that go off tangent. I liked how the film didn't try to be too comedic. There are some great emotional scenes, such as the ones between Henri and Juliette. The actors and actresses all bring fine performances. It's true that these are not stories I normally gravitate towards, but the film's little surprises, wit, and characters made the experience more than palatable.

You can find more of my movie review updates on http://twitter.com/d_art


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