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Renée Le Calm
As part of a job that he is promised, Xavier, an economics student in his twenties, signs on to a European exchange program in order to gain working knowledge of the Spanish language. Promising that they'll remain close, he says farewell to his loving girlfriend, then heads to Barcelona. Following his arrival, Xavier is soon thrust into a cultural melting pot when he moves into an apartment full of international students. An Italian, an English girl, a boy from Denmark, a young girl from Belgium, a German and a girl from Tarragona all join him in a series of adventures that serve as an initiation to life. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The first instalment of a trilogy written and directed by Cédric Klapisch, which follows the journey of Xavier from student to family man. This is followed by "Les poupées russes", released in 2005, and completed with "Casse-tête chinois", released in 2013. See more »
When Xavier is at the airport getting ready to leave for Barcelona, he goes to talk to Martine and then returns to his mother and picks up his small backpack. He then goes back to Martine, without his backpack, returns to his mother and picks up his backpack again. See more »
Stereotypes and truth together for the first time.
The first thing I wanted to do after watching this film was watch it again (because I'd missed lots with all the laughing I did). I'm European and I've studied abroad and I've as good as lived with Spanish, french, Italian and German people. The film was full of stereotypes, which, more often than not, p*** people off, and reading some of the other reviews I see that it did p*** people off. But, this film gets the stereotypes so right I cannot fault it. Except for maybe the way the french guy became a drunken party animal. The English guy was the perfect "geezer" stereotype. Drunk, annoying, insulting but shines through in the end. As well as the stereotypes the film also got the emotional aspect of studying abroad correct. At first he's shy, doesn't know anybody, misses home, doesn't know his way around. As time progresses it becomes his home and when the time comes to leave, it is extremely difficult. A feeling people can only understand if they've experienced it. I highly recommend this film.
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