12/18/2014  
Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30Elsa & Fred on Blu-ray & DVD Dec 30Last Weekend on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Quandary for Sony in Terror Threats Over 'The Interview...
Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30...
'The Hobbit': Peter Jackson on the End of His Middle Ea...
The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13...
Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
POWDER BLUE (BLU-RAY)...
DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
Happily Ever After (2004)

Fred: You're a pick-up artist!
Vincent: Stop.
Georges: Little pick-up artist!
Vincent: Are you stupid? She's married.
Fred: What do you know about married women?

- Alain Cohen, Yvan Attal, Alain Chabat

Review By: Jeff Wilson  
Published: October 11, 2005

Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Yvan Attal, Emmanuelle Seigner, Alain Chabat, Alain Cohen
Other Stars: Johnny Depp, Anouk Aimee, Claude Berri, Angie David
Director: Yvan Attal

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nudity, sexual situations, language
Run Time: 01h:39m:31s
Release Date: October 11, 2005
UPC: 738329042127
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+BB C+

DVD Review

Yvan Attal's first film, My Wife Is an Actress, revolved around a troubled marital relationship, and so it is with his follow-up, Happily Ever After (Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants). Attal's ambivalent take on modern marriage looks at relationships through its main couple, Vincent (Attal) and Gabrielle (Charlotte Gainsbourg). They have what appears to be an relatively ideal marriage; they each have good jobs, their son isn't a terror, and they live in a cozy apartment. But all is not as it seems.

When we meet Gabrielle, our first encounter with her is at a club; we initially see her wandering through the it as the credits play, looking for someone unknown to us. The scene cuts to Gabrielle at the bar, telling off two guys trying to pick her up. Why bother, she asks, when all you want is sex and you're so clearly phony? The men don't quite know how to react to such a response, and when another man shows up and quickly picks her up, they still can't quite believe it. The man picking her up is her husband Vincent, and they quickly spin their role-playing into something steamier. But the next morning, Vincent and his buddy Georges (Alain Chabat) lament the luck of Fred (Alain Cohen), their bachelor pal. The three routinely get together, but Fred is delayed by his second tryst of the last 12 hours. Georges, a hotel manager, has provided Fred with the room for his latest conquest. When Fred (who isn't exactly pin-up material) shows up with a blonde babe, Vincent and Georges can barely keep their drooling leers to themselves.

As always though, each wants what the other has; Fred gets more women than he can keep track of, but he has no one in his life and nothing to come home to each night. Vincent and Georges lament being stuck with one woman at the cost of missing out on the rest. Before we know it, Vincent, who seemingly had everything made, is having an affair with a younger woman (Angie David). Her importance (or lack thereof) is emphasized by Attal's leaving her nameless. Naïvely, she doesn't consider herself Vincent's mistress, though the pair of them only get together in stolen moments. Gabrielle never gets proof of Vincent's philandering; she simply realizes it one day. She has had temptations of her own; her momentary connection in a record store with a stranger (Johnny Depp, in a cameo) leaves her confused.

I enjoyed this film quite a bit, though on its surface, it's about spoiled men who can't accept responsibility for their actions. But many of the little observational moments of married life rang true for me, and I liked the characters, for the most part, weaknesses and all. Attal's use of fantasy, such as Vincent and Gabrielle's affectionately rambunctious food fight, and the finale with Gabrielle and Depp, are beautifully staged. Depending on your point of view, Attal's lack of explanation for Vincent's philandering is either a weakness or a strength; my own impression is that Attal wants to argue that these sort of things simply happen. Some couples, like Vincent's parents, cruise through their life together without problem, while others, like Georges and his ultra-feminist wife Nathalie (Emmanuelle Seigner), seemingly fight constantly but remain together. And even couples that appear perfect, like Vincent and Gabrielle, can develop enough fissures to allow for an affair. The future of marriage is left open to question; Fred, faced with becoming a parent with one of his conquests who has become pregnant, tells Vincent marriage is outmoded. In the end, Attal's feelings about marriage echo what Sondheim wrote in Company, his great musical about marriage and relationships: "You're sorry-grateful,/Regretful-happy/Why look for answers/When none occur?"

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Kino's DVD presents the film in its original 2.35:1 ratio, and the film generally looks good, which shouldn't be a surprise given its recent vintage. However, the transfer is a PAL conversion, which results in some ghosting and shimmer. Overall, I didn't find it especially distracting. There are occasional less than solid blacks, but otherwise colors look good and there is a nice level of detail. English subtitles are optional.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchno


Audio Transfer Review: One option, Dolby 2.0, is on offer, and it's acceptable. The back speakers don't have much to do at all, and appear to have been mainly used for the music, which sounds fine. The French DVD of the film has DTS and Dolby 5.1, so this was a bit of a letdown.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Or (My Treasure), The Ninth Day
1 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Interview with director/star Yvan Attal
  2. Stills gallery
Extras Review: A short interview with Attal (00h:11m:57s) forms the main extra; in English, Attal talks about the film's genesis, working with his partner Gainsbourg, and reaction to some of the characters in the film. The interview is presented in nonanamorphic widescreen. It's an interesting piece that doesn't overstay its welcome, and Attal seems quite into discussing the film. From the same interview session is what is billed as a deleted scene (:03m), but it's really just an extension of a scene near the end of the film, that changes our impression of what has happened between Vincent and Gabrielle. Attal discusses why he removed the sequence, noting that audiences misunderstood his intentions when it was included. The scene and the interview material are edited together as one piece. The theatrical trailer and still photos from the set are also included.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

An entertaining look at marriage, Happily Ever After doesn't provide any easy answers to the questions it raises, but it's a fun ride nonetheless. Kino's DVD does a solid job of presenting the film.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movie, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, the interview, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, documentary, television, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football, star wars 7, john boyega, stormtrooper, samuel l. jackson, billy dee williams, james earl jones, musical

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store