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The Grocer's Son


By Lee Gardner | Posted 10/22/2008

This Gallic take on the typical contemporary coming-of-age drama is well done (it's French), though utterly predictable (see: typical contemporary coming-of-age drama). Antoine (Nicolas Cazalé) is an identikit surly urban twentysomething with a waiter job, a crappy apartment, and a crush on the fetching student next door (the fetching Clotilde Hesme) when his father's near-fatal heart attack brings him back to his hometown in rural Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. His father's illness means that Antoine must fill-in at the family business, crisscrossing the countryside in a white van tricked out as a rolling mini-mart full of salami and cans of peas for the area's aging residents. He also winds up right back in the household he fled as soon as he was able. The upside is that he convinces Hesme's Claire to come with him and finish her correspondence course in the quiet countryside. You can guess exactly where all this is going about 10 minutes in, but writer/director Eric Guirado's light touch and acres of lovely scenery make it all glide past pleasantly, if not memorably.

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