Here are three films for you...
La vie est un long fleuve tranquille or 'Life is a long quiet river' (Etienne Chatiliez, 1988)
Life is a Long Quiet River is the satirically philosophical title for this French domestic comedy. In Northern France, a castoff mistress spitefully switches a pair of newborn babies at the maternity ward managed by her (ex) doctor lover. As a result, the daughter of a family of tramps and thieves is raised in a comfy bourgeois household, while the lowlife family ends up with the middle-class family's offspring. Twelve
A must-see... Although it was released 25 years ago (has it been that long???) it is still very funny, and yes I did think about it when I was at the maternity ward! Etienne Chatiliez has done many more films that I love: Tatie Danielle, Le bonheur est dans le pré, Tanguy ...
Germinal (Claude Berry, 1993)
This is a bit more serious film... but as some of the scenes were filmed in my town it had to be fetaured... The film is closely based on the 19th-century novel by Emile Zola, re-creating, as does the novel, the gut-wrenching poverty and the intense day-by-day struggles of striking French coal-miners in 1884 at the Voreux mines of France. The film centers upon the bitter toils of Maheu and his family -- consisting of his iron-willed wife and their daughter Catherine, who also works in the mines. When a new miner, Etienne Lantier,
The novel is by Zola, there is Depardieu, there are strikes.. Yes this is French, beware it is looooonnng (nearly 3 hours) and it is not exactly cheerful. Otherwise amazing filming, and saves you reading the book (although I had to, as probably every single French person).
Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis or 'Welcome to the Sticks' (Dany Boon, 2008)
A man born and raised on France's Southern coast is sent to the North. Philippe Abrams manages the post office in a picturesque small town in the South of France, Salon de Provence. Philippe's wife Julie is depressed, and he thinks one way to lift her spirits would be to relocate to the more glamorous surroundings of the Cote d'Azur. However, Philippe's attempts to finagle a