Oddly, “C’est la vie!” is the French title that’s been chosen for the English-subtitled version of a French film that already had another French title. The film in question is Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano’s 2017 French comedy Le Sens de la fête, or “a sense of occasion.” And, not surprisingly, it’s the film’s original title that best captures what this film is really all about, and does so with irony. A wedding is being staged in a 17th-century château on the outskirts of Paris, and it’s up to Max, a long-suffering wedding planner, to make sure the event is a hit, against all odds, on what is to be his final engagement. The arrangements are overblown and ridiculous, the technological limitations are considerable, the staff are incompetent, the wedding singer is a male prima donna, the groom is a tireless micro-manager, and Max’s partner has chosen this occasion to wage open rebellion. Sound like fun? How will Max do it? How will he manage to create that sens de la fête that is such a trademark of French culture? C’est la vie was a hit at TIFF, where it was, appropriately enough, the highlight of the festival’s closing night gala.
-Anthony Kinik, Contributor