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It's a family affair. The Menard family have a rituel : every week they meet at Henri's café and go on to have dinner at "Aux ducs de Bretagne", the best restaurant this small provincial suburb has to offer. This week there's a fly in the ointment : Arlette, Henri's wife, misses the roll call. She's gone off for a week "to think things over". On the regular scale of events it's no big deal, but it builds up and spills over into other, deeper dramas which this familiy have cherished and nurtured since childhood. A family is like a gift -once you've been given it, you pretty much have to keep it.
The trouble is, everything went well and pretty smoothly; No sagas, not even any tasty tidbits to relate. We'd been playing for less than a month at the Théâtre de la Renaissance when Chrales Gassot came to see the play and suggested making a movie version. We mentioned Cédric Klapisch, he saw the play and agreed to do it. That was in early winter. We got down to work. We wrote for several months and then started filming. Cédric directed us all a great deal. He wasn't out to "trash the theatre" but to use it, use our knowlegde of the situations and characters to fine-tune the dialogue. He has an exceptional sense of music and rhytm, of acting in fact, and doesn't need to throw his weight around to get what he wants from an actor. That makes it very easy to let onself be directed without mistrust. About my character, for example, we didn't quite see eye to eye at first.He thought I'd made her too tough nd not likeable enough on stage, whereas I'd deliberately kept her from being too charming or sweet. Being liked or being pretty is not her main concern ; she escapes the mould that most young actresses are cast into. But then, as we went on talking, I realized that Cédric didn't want to betray the character, only improve her, and I happily went along with him.