The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

2008 [FRENCH]


IMDb Rating 7.6 10 9647

Plot summary

January 08, 2023 at 12:39 AM


Rémi Bezançon

Top cast

Gilles Lellouche as Le rasta blanc
Stanley Weber as Éric
1.02 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jon_Mathias 9 / 10

Beautiful, very French, I loved it

I've just finished watching this for the second time as it overwhelmed me emotionally the first time and I had to check if it was just the wine.

Well, it wasn't.

It's a marvellous film - beautifully crafted, played by a cast of quality actors, great soundtrack.

Watching this film reminded me of why we need the French film industry. Today I saw Toy Story 3 (not a bad instalment in the franchise, but nothing special) with my 9-year old daughter and as we came out of the auditorium, I looked around and saw ads for (1) an animated dog flick for kids, (2) a standard "blockbuster" CGI-fest, all shot in blue and (3) a loads-of-explosions bog standard actioner. Why is no-one making films about reality anymore? Are the lives of real people no longer worth considering? Why is Hollywood producing such a deluge of crap these days?

La Premier Jour de la Reste de ma Vie tells the story of a family by way of a few individual days over the course of c15 years. Don't expect any contrived pivotal moments of misunderstanding - this film is above that. It shows the conflicts between family members and the frustration and bitterness, yet attempts to demonstrate how these rifts came about. It also shows how people learn from the failures of their parents and how they try not to repeat them. Look up the poem "This be the Lesson" by Philip Larkin for how important this is...

It is also about love, the bonds of family, redemption, nostalgia and if the final scene doesn't have tears pissing from your eyes, then you have no heart.

Reviewed by runamokprods 8 / 10

Sweet, human, funny and touching

Sweet, human, funny and touching, this portrait of 5 key moments in a families life may not dive as deep as some films into the complexity of 'family', but makes up for it by reminding us that families – for all their flaws and pettiness and hurts – are also wonderful and important and, if we're lucky, full of love.

Remi Bezancon manages to make this argument without falling into too much sappiness. The acting is generally excellent, and the film has a knack for catching all those small details in our lives that eventually add up to larger, more important ones.

Not a masterpiece, but a lovely and very heartfelt and enjoyable film.

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 8 / 10

The script is you and me, boy. No-one knows you better than family.

Can you go back in your memory and find a key day that was the start of your life as you know it now? Who were the people around you then? What was your favourite song? Was there maybe a special piece of clothing that brings memories flooding back with a smile? What about the food you loved those days? Iconic details. Where are they burned in your brain like a hit song, a movie masterpiece, an unstoppable feeling. When did your life first explode? Somewhere those images are a picture of who you are.

Maybe it was getting married. Your first child. Leaving home. Passing your driving test. Getting your Amex Gold. Or falling in love. Moving house. Losing your virginity. Starting university. Finding religion. Getting stoned. Discovering you were someone else all along. Take five people. Take five days. Define the tingles at either end of their spines. Who they are to themselves. To each other. The family in which they are all, somehow, related.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life might not be Magnolia or even American Beauty, but it's damn good fun. This is thumpingly enjoyable entertainment, even with (dare I mention them?) 'subtitles.' In less than two hours, you will feel that you've known Mum and Dad, eldest son Albert, grungy sister Fleur, romantic bro' Raphael all your life. Cos now you know theirs.

Blood ties and facts are only one of the ways we relate. Usually the really important bits are a single moment, incident or word. Bits that affect everything else. Bits that define people to you in ways words can't. Intimacies or misunderstandings. Hard decisions taken when you disagree with those you love.

Powered by a wonderfully cross-Channel soundtrack, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life is fast and funny. And never flippant. A film for intelligent teenagers who still like to get wasted. For parents struggling to bond. For those in relationships and those struggling to connect. It's not often I feel I can recommend a film to nearly everyone I know (barring subtitles allegies). But I'll stick my neck out and say this is one.

It's a symphonic comedy. Of finding yourself alone in the midst of those who love you. Taking pride in yourself even if no-one remembers. Of finally getting through to someone. It could almost be the thinking feelgood film of the year if it wasn't in French (maybe they'll dub it for America??) To get such a complex mix right is masterpiece of modern editing. But the filmmakers have also been astutely conscious of the need to define key experiences in terms audiences can relate to rather than just the way they are experienced by the characters. A love of grunge and praying at Jim Morrison's grave, for instance, does not translate into inflicting Nirvana and the Doors on us. Rather, music is used in classic style to communicate feelings.

Or Bowie: Time - He's waiting in the wings . . .

His script is you and me, boy There are plenty of senseless things in the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Believe me – air guitar has never looked so cool. But there are enough really cool, heart-warming moments to make it more than worth your ticket price. It doesn't hit the intellectual self-awareness heights about dysfunctional families that it is capable of – life, death, trust and infidelity, burying your dog, nicotine patches, feng shui, confiscated joints, premature ejaculation and facelifts – none of this matters and yet it does. And as polished all-round entertainment, this film is fairly hard to beat. If you disagree, maybe be you're taking life too seriously and not seriously enough. Sometimes it's hard (as every film critic knows). To just stop analysing long enough to smell the grass. In literary terms, it amounts to Mrs Dalloway buying the flowers herself.

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