Telle mère, Telle fille (Like mother, Like daughter) – Noémie Saglio

Director Noémie Saglio and actress Camille Cottin make a formidable team. Cottin has appeared in Saglio’s last three films – Toute Première Fois, Harry MeThe Royal Bitch of Buckingham and this latest outing-  Telle Mère, Telle Fille.  Harry Me, a toe-curling series of candid-camera gags was a box office success in France with over 1.3 million admissions. Here Saglio has brought in French cinema A-listers Juliette Binoche and Lambert Wilson for this drawn out, unimaginative story of a mother and daughter who find themselves pregnant at the same time. The kicker is the mother acts like a sulky adolescent while her daughter is forced into the role of responsible parent. The story line provides slim pickings at best, but is milked-dry over the film’s 1hr30m running time. While Binoche and Wilson always provide value for money, even they cannot inject a sense of purpose into Saglio’s limp comedy.

Avril (Cottin) and her mother Mado ( Binoche) live together with Avril’s husband Louis (Michael Dichter). While Avril, aged 30, is an organised, career woman expecting her first child, her mother is the opposite.  Mado has no job or home of her own and has an on-off relationship with her ex-husband Marc (Wilson). When both Avril and Mado discover they are pregnant at the same time, Mado struggles to see herself as a grandmother while Avril struggles to see Mado in a maternel role.
Just like Harry Me, Telle Mère, Telle Fille runs as a series of gags loosely held together by Avril and Mado’s relationship. The comedy is so predictable, the audience easily stays one step ahead of the action and the overly sentimental ending comes as no surprise. The jury is still out on whether Cottin has any real talent as an actress, but she needs to move away from these dim-witted comedies to convince an audience she is capable of  more.

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