Love At First Child (Ange et Gabrielle) is a film where a baby brings a man and woman together. And we’re not talking about its parents. This film is a light, French rom-com that is a little like eating a sweet soufflé, it’s fluffy and nice at the time but utterly forgettable shortly afterwards.
The film is directed by Anne Giafferi and is adapted from a play by Murielle Magellan. Claire (Alice de Lencquesaing) is a teenager that is pregnant. But the baby’s father Simon (Thomas Solivéres) does not want to get involved in the child’s upbringing. Claire was herself raised by a single mother named Gabrielle (Isabelle Carré.) Gabrielle realises that this situation is a delicate one, so she decides to confront Simon’s father in an attempt to convince him to chat to his son about it. Except that this story is a case of history repeating itself.
Ange (Patrick Bruel) did not assume responsibility for raising his own son, Simon several decades ago. Instead, Ange has had a successful life working as an architect and having a string of female admirers. So when Gabrielle turns up at his office unannounced and is quite hysterical about her daughter and grandchild, he blows her off. Despite this strange meeting it doesn’t take long for Ange and Gabrielle to meet-up some more times and to fall in love, even if on paper they seem like an unlikely pair.
The mood of this film is quite fizzy and vibrant like lemonade. For the most part it errs on the side of being an upbeat comedy. This means that even when questions about fatherhood and pregnancy are posed, they aren’t given nearly as much airtime as jokes about how inept the father and son are at caring for this new baby.
This film is a boy-meets-girl tale which also has some misunderstandings and hurdles thrown in along the way. But these are resolved in a series of rather clichéd ways. The ending itself is also overwhelmingly positive and predictable, so this film is really like any other generic rom-com.
Love At First Child fails to offer anything new, unexpected or different to the rom-com genre. It’s a quaint film where the journey is ultimately pleasant-enough to watch but it’s not something that will stay with you. If you are looking for quick and charming then this is your film, but for something more you definitely need to look elsewhere.
Review Score: TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Love at First Child is now available through Video in Demand services.