French Film Review: La Dégustation

French Film Review: La Dégustation

This full-bodied rom-com tells the tale of bear-with-a-sorehead Jacques who, despite numerous obstacles, finds true love in unexpected quarters thanks to Hortense, a woman with her own set of issues.

Divorcee Jacques (Bernard Campan) runs a wine shop which is on the brink of financial collapse. For health (and tax) reasons, he reluctantly takes on an employee in the form of Steve (Mounir Amamra), a young man whose charm and repartee brings new life to the staid old shop.

Enter Hortense (Isabelle Carré), a Catholic woman who is committed to doing good works and who has been unsuccessful in her search for love and, therefore, a family of her own. She decides to sign up for a tasting workshop… and from here, things begin to get interesting. It soon becomes clear that since his divorce, Jacques has become a loner and rather too fond of the bottle, cutting himself off from almost all his friends, with the exception of long-suffering pal Guillaume (Eric Viellard).

Directed by Ivan Calbérac and based on his play of the same name, apparently, this film only came about because its stars – who also performed in the Molière-award-winning play, persuaded him over lunch to make it into a movie.

“How can you resist two actors who are so persuasive and so motivated? The desire had obviously gone through my head, but it was really them who verbalised it first,” he said. One of the first challenges, he said, was the staging – in the theatre, the action is confined entirely to the wine shop; on film (which was largely shot in Troyes in case you’re looking for holiday destinations!), it was possible to physically visit the locations previously only referred to.

Don’t dismiss this as your bog-standard rom-com, though: there are base notes of tragedy lurking beneath the romance. Crisply scripted and performed with a light touch, the genius of this movie is the way it tenderly approaches serious issues such as grief, addiction and childlessness. Serve with your wine of choice and a big box of tissues.

Director: Ivan Calbérac
Starring: Isabelle Carré, Bernard Campan, Mounir Amamra

Lead photo credit : A highly recommended rom-com

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

More in film review, French cinema, French rom-coms

Previous Article Icons of France: Simone Veil
Next Article How to Enjoy France While Saving Money and Time

Related Articles

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  •  Cheryl Fox
    2023-05-27 11:59:56
    Cheryl Fox
    Want to Know Filming Locations. What town in France? What town in Spain? [email protected]


  • Eric Dawson
    2023-02-15 07:15:15
    Eric Dawson
    Having just read that the age of the rom-com is decidedly OVER i I will try to search this out. Merci