Review / ‘Two is a Family’ (M) ***

Omar Sy in the role of Samuel and Gloria Colston as his eight-year-old daughter in “Two is a Family”.

IN 2013, Mexican writer/director Eugenio Derbez wrote, directed and played a principal role in “Instructions Not Included” about a man unexpectedly saddled with the care, feeding and raising of a three-month-old girl baby.

In 2016, French director Hugo Gelin got together with Derbez to make the same movie in French but set in London. The little girl (Gloria Colston), as an eight-year-old, speaks both languages fluently without any crossing of accents. And to suit the requirements of this film, she has African ancestry.

Why would that be appropriate? Playing her father Samuel is Omar Sy, who in 2011 made his debut and an instant reputation in “The Intouchables”. He’s big, brown and beautiful and his acting is memorable. Samuel is a playboy at heart who comes to England to return baby Gloria to her mother (Clemence Poesy) who wants Samuel to take responsibility for the fruit of a one night stand 12 months previously. In time, Samuel will get very wealthy by working as a movie stuntman.

“Two is a Family” is comedy with bite, offering an invitation to laugh vigorously and happily. The bite won’t draw blood. It needs thinking about. It‘s sneaky rude about how the Brits do things such as cooking. Its progress toward denouement might make some wonder whether Gloria is so spoiled that future realities might bring anguish. But that’s far into a future where the film doesn’t reach.

Damon Runyon used the theme of men raising a girl-child in “Butch Minds the Baby”, filmed in 1942. And because oldies are often goodies, it may well be used again a few decades hence.

At Palace Electric

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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