Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Grocer's Son

This French movie delighted Emma and me. We especially had fun trying to apply what we've been learning from the book, Iron John, which I've written about here and here. It's a modern movie, so not everything fit the fairy tale, but I did think it worked better than trying to compare it to the Prodigal Son, which many reviewers of this film did.

The Grocer's Son is a movie about a selfish 30-year-old man-boy, Antoine Sforza, who has been estranged from his rural Provence family for ten years because he and his domineering dad have such a horrible relationship. Antoine lives in a big city and can't keep a job because his actions are tainted by his "what's in it for me" attitude. Clearly, he's "stolen the key from under his mother's pillow," by leaving home and going off on his own, but he's stuck emotionally and has yet to become a real man.

Then his dad has a heart attack and is unable to drive the grocery delivery van that serves his elderly customers.  Antoine reluctantly agrees to go back home and take over this job while his dad recovers.  In the process of serving the community in this way, he finally grows up.

Now he is ready to accept the responsibilities of manhood, marry the princess, and rule his kingdom!

The movie is in French with English subtitles. It has gorgeous rural scenery, charming old folks, and lots of humor thrown in. There are some bad words. Frankly, I would rather have to hear them than read them, but I had no choice. One of them stayed on the screen such a long time because of a lull in dialog, that the awkwardness of it caused us to start giggling.  There is one scene where you glimpse a naked woman through a doorway, and there is a bedroom scene that is so tame we didn't even have to fast forward.

I watched the movie a second time with my son Nathaniel, who is 19.  I had to bribe him by agreeing to watch two episodes of Lost with him.  He figured The Grocer's Son was some mushy chick flick and didn't want anything to do with it, but he loved it after all and laughed out loud several times.  He even admitted that he loved it, which is an even bigger deal.

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