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Happily Ever After

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Though to all appearances happily married parents, Vincent and Gabrielle (Attal and Gainsbourg) both harbor secret doubts about their monogamy. Despairing of the cynicism of his hen-pecked married co-worker George (Alain Chabat), and envious of the joie de vivre of his swinging sing friend Fred (Alain Cohen), Vincent weighs the risks involved in both keeping himself satisfied and his marriage intact. Sensitive but independent Gabrielle, in turn, feels helpless over her partner's increasing evasiveness and is drawn to her own burgeoning fantasy life. But when she makes a surprising and powerful connection with a handsome stranger in a record store ("Yes...that's Johnny Depp!" - Paul Sherman, Boston Herald), Gabrielle stops speculating about Vincent's loyalty and begins to consider an affair of her own.

Call it The Mind of the Married French Man. In his second film with Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams), Yvan Attal (Bon Voyage) looks at monogamy through the prism of three middle-aged Parisians who work at the same luxury auto dealership. Georges (Alain Chabat) is unhappily married to the combative Nathalie (Emmanuelle Seigner), the single Fred (Alain Cohen) is seeing several different lovelies, and Vincent (writer/director Attal) has a seemingly idyllic relationship with realtor Gabrielle (Gainsbourg, Attal's companion)--complete with precocious urchin. In reality, they're in a rut. So while Fred swears his is a lonely life, his frustrated friends aren't convinced. One day in a record store, Gabrielle locks eyes with an attractive stranger (Johnny Depp in a mostly wordless, if effective cameo) while listening to Radiohead's "Creep," with its somber "I don't belong here" refrain. Things go no further, although Gainsbourg's expressive face clearly registers a longing for more. Vincent, on the other hand, surrenders to temptation. As in his feature debut, My Wife is an Actress, in which Attal imagined Gainsbourg having an affair with suave co-star Terence Stamp, his Vincent is the weaker of the two, although Gabrielle is a less unwitting victim this time. Happily Ever After, their fifth film as co-stars, treads a fine line between comedy and pathos before giving way to a fantasy concerning Depp. Or was it all in Gabrielle's head? Attal leaves it up to the viewer to decide. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • Trailer
  • Stills Gallery
  • An Interview with Writer-Director Yvan Attal
  • Deleted Scene with comments by Yvan Attal

Product Details

  • Actors: Anouk Aimée, Keith Allen (VII), Claude Berri, Jérôme Bertin, Alain Chabat
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino International
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009XRZKQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,522 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happily Ever After" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2005
Format: DVD
"Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants" ("Happily Ever After") is a cleverly written examination of contemporary views on love, lust, marriage, infidelity, and the single life. Writer/Director/Actor Yvan Attal has come up with a winner, an entertaining, funny, and ultimately thoughtful treatise on how we cope with partnering.

Three men work together in a car dealership. Vincent (Yvan Attal) is the apparently happily married man with a beautiful wife Gabrielle (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and child. Georges (Alain Chabat) on the other hand is in a tumultuous marriage with Nathalie (Emmanuelle Seigner) who has gender issues that go far beyond feminism and negatively influence their child. Fred (Alain Cohen) is single, bedding every lovely woman he encounters, balancing trysts between mornings, afternoons, and evenings and is deeply envied for his Don Juanism. But Fred actually longs for the sense of belonging that married men enjoy.

The men's lives intertwine on many levels. Most important, we discover that Vincent has a lover (Angie David) despite his idyllic married life and while it is Georges whom one would expect to seek solace from a lover, he remains faithful to his nagging wife! Gabrielle senses Vincent's affair and encounters a sexy man in a music shop (Johnny Depp) who begins to preoccupy her thoughts. She is a real estate broker and comes close to an assignation with a client but remains faithful. All the while she daydreams about her brief encounter with Depp and satisfies her wandering eye with those memories. Fred discovers that one of his paramours is pregnant and happily decides to leap into the married fray.
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Format: DVD
In 2004, actor Yvan Attal ("Rush Hour 3', "Munich", "The Interpreter") had tremendous success with writing and directing his first film "Ma femme est une actrice" (2001, My Wife Is an Actress) and in 2004, he reunited with his real-life partner Charlotte Gainsbourg ("Antichrist", "21 Grams", "The Tree") for his second film which he wrote and directed titled "Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants" (US Title: happily ever after) which would feature a cameo appearance by Johnny Depp and would star Sebastien Vidal, Chloe Combret, Alain Cohen, Caroline Gynning, Alain Chabat, Ben Attal and Emmanuelle Seigner.

The film revolves around a man named Vincent (played by Yvan Attal) and his wife Gabrielle (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg). The two are very much in love, married but somewhere after having kids and starting a family, the relationship has never been the same.

So, the film showcases how Vincent and his two male friends view marriage. Fred (played by Alain Cohen) is a bachelor who is near 50 and just loves having women available for sexual encounters, while Georges (played by Alain Chabat) is married to a beautiful blonde named Nathalie (played by Emmanuelle Seigner) and has a child. But Georges is not enjoying his marriage as his wife is always screaming down his neck and he doesn't know how to cope with it and wonders if his problems are because he went for a beautiful woman instead of other women that had a chance to be with at the time.

But as for Vincent, he looks like a man who is dedicated to his wife Gabrielle and his son. He and his wife give passionate kisses, he is there to play with his son but the truth is, Vincent is also having an affair with another woman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Dog VINE VOICE on January 9, 2012
Format: DVD
I watched this film (which the French call "Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants" = And They Married and Had Many Children) immediately after watching "One Day" starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Basically, "One Day" completely lacked any real emotional depth or personality, so I was starving for quality, and that's basically what I got with "happily ever after."

The acting was characteristically subtle, a little dark, and "urban," and featured high grade "Gainsbourg." High grade Gainsbourg means lots of cigarette smoke, ubiquitous blue jeans, and beaucoup emotion. She stares at you with those unremarkable looks, unremarkable lines, and unremarkable femininity. Yet the net effect is completely and powerfully (feminine and) remarkable! Here in the United States, we aren't able to appreciate acting like that, so we have to look overseas to find this kind of quality. (But remember to avoid the UK's "One Day.")

Plenty of humor mixed in between the occasionally morose reality.

Charlotte's character was very well developed, and you couldn't help but feel a huge sense of sympathy for her.

Great ambiguity about the motivation of each character. I loved the way it ended with the odd but beautiful "fantasy" elevator ride.

I enjoyed the way the director avoided a linear presentation of material. For example, you are wondering about why Charlotte's character is so worried about her husband's fidelity, because we don't find out until the film is about half over that he is cheating, but the sequence of events helps the viewer get closer to the central challenge of the film (perhaps the many dimensions of fidelity/infidelity), much better than the simple sequence of time.

This film left me feeling very certain about fidelity. And very uncertain about who had to clean up after that huge food fight.
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