Ni à Vendre, ni à Louer

Pascal Rabaté :: France :: 2010 :: 1h20

Behind this peculiar title (“Not for sale, not for hire”) hides a light-spirited comedy about a weekend away at an unpretentious coastal town. Humour takes the central stage, following a motley group of tourists and locals at the seaside in the style of Jacques Tati, with very little -if any- dialogue. This is Pascal Rabaté’s third film, after last year’s original and touching Les Petits Ruisseaux, where comedy was a sideline to his central storyline. Things are different this time round.

We see an elderly couple of regulars take up residence in a postcard sized cabin, we follow two fraudsters making people’s lives difficult, we watch a man and a woman meet as his kite flies off with her necklace, we see a shop-owner draw barcodes onto his products to be up-to-date… As light as some of the scenes are, some of the subjects are not -death, infidelity- but they are treated with care and a taste for light absurdity.

The film has its weakness as well, with a burlesque role for an SM couple on an escapade which does not really take off. But as the film progresses, the blemish fades into the background of the panoply of characters and attentively choreographed visuals. Prepare to be amused, to laugh and to wet your appetite for some vacation yourself, and hope that director Rabaté has not run out of ideas for more comedy. Let us be absolutely clear about this: we want more!

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