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Foreign Comedy - France - Times Have Been Better / Le ciel sur la tete


Times Have Been Better / Le ciel sur la tete
Arnaud Binard, Olivier Gueritee, Bernard le Coq
Directed by Regis Musset
French with English Subtitles
Made for TV, France 2006
Picture This! Home Video 2007
93 Minutes

Times Have Been Better is a fun coming out movie. You have to be open-minded though because it is also a French comedy.

As a rule, French comedy is an oxymoron: everybody talks too much and talks a lot about talking. This is not a problem here. Le ciel sur la tete / Times Have Been Better is a charming and funny movie.

This gay comedy starts off with, as the French really say, le coming out, of prodigal son Jeremy to his liberal, left-wing, and very petit bourgeois parents.

As the parents say, it could have been worse: Jeremy could have been in a car crash, have an orphan disease, cancer, died in a terrorist attack, you know.

Times Have Been Better is really about the parents' reaction to the fact their eldest and most beloved son is gay.

They try their best to be open-minded but, well, it's not that easy.

In a case like this, one blames the other; they try to understand why Jeremy didn't tell them before; they try to find out what caused "it"; and try to figure it all out. It also forces them to look at themselves and here the movie takes a very slight dramatic turn.

There is a little bit of everything comedy wise in this movie: Slapstick, comic situations, odd secondary characters, many, many unexpected but comical surprises, and pretty original interior monologue and dialogues.

Times Have Been Better works because it gets its smiles and giggles in original ways. It also features great performances all around and solid writing that avoids almost all the possible clichés of the genre.

The best thing one can say about a comedy or any movie is there's nothing quite like it. There's nothing quite like Le ciel sur la tete / Times Have Been Better.

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