Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown
Original title:Hommes au bord de la crise de nerfs
Director:Audrey Dana
Running time:97 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Seven men, from 17 to 70 years old, who have nothing in common except being on the verge of a nervous breakdown, find themselves embroiled in a group therapy in the wilderness. This mysterious course, exclusively for men, is supposed to work miracles. First surprise on their arrival: the coach is a woman! Unpredictable and confusing, she will do everything to help them get better. With or without their consent...

Mulder's Review

"... I thought of this film as a big bowl of oxygen! I am a nature lover. My job is to make films and theater, which are a priori disconnected, but they are an open door to the sacred. With this black box, we can connect with nature and that's what's so magical. By projecting shots taken in the forest, we send chlorophyll! It has been scientifically proven that we can recharge our batteries and calm ourselves by watching images of trees, for example... " - Audrey Dana

Making an excellent social comedy and drama is often the same alchemy as making a great musical that can make us laugh and move us at the same time. The presence here of an inspired director and screenwriter Audrey Dana (Sous les jupes des filles (2014), Si j'étais un homme (2017)), the best French cast of the year (Thierry Lhermitte, Ramzy Bedia, François-Xavier Demaison, Laurent Stocker , Pascal Demolon, Michaël Grégorio, Marina Hands and Alice Belaïdi) and a subject of society, burnout and the fact of succeeding in his professional and family life make Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown certainly a great film and the beautiful cinematic surprise of this month of May.

 We must recognize that the presence on screen of a real showman (Michaël Gregorio) whose every show is an undeniable success is an excellent surprise and his song Renew is one of the highlights of this film. Facing confirmed actors used to play in comedies, Michaël Gregorio easily holds the comparison and we hope he will continue to be present on the big screen when he is not on stage to our great pleasure. If the film Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown works so well on the screen, it is because it relies on a perfect chemistry between the different actors and a real sense of rhythm and punchy dialogues. Far from wallowing in the easy way, Audrey Dana's new film confirms that this director and screenwriter does not hesitate to take up challenges and knows how to hold the attention of well-known actors who find here different and emotionally charged roles. It is a true reflection of our current society in which we are trying as hard as we can to succeed in life and find our place.

After a short introduction of each of the seven main characters from different backgrounds and their professional or personal difficulties, we find them together on a train station platform ready to start a group therapy in the middle of the wilderness. Led by an atypical coach, Omega (Marina Hands), they go into seclusion in a field cut off from the world with no access to telephone networks and have to relearn how to enjoy simple things like eating naturally and understanding that success often comes from joining forces and living in society by making new friends and stepping out of one's comfort circle. 

Since the main action of the film takes place in the middle of nature, one could have feared that the film would be static and too close to these theatrical adaptations. It is not so, and above all, we really feel the pleasure that the actors have taken to meet and play together. The director has taken the best out of each of the actors to make a comedy that is really role-playing and sensitive at the same time. While French comedies too often have to stay in a comfort zone and serve as a springboard for popular comedians, the heterogeneous casting of this film is its strength. Certainly the last part of the film in which the character Noé starts to sing to cheer up his new friends and confirms once again the superb voice of Michael Gregorio brings a real freshness to the film and certainly makes it one of our favorites of May.

Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown 
Directed by Audrey Dana
Produced by Olivier Delbosc
Written by Audrey Dana, Claire Barré
Starring Thierry Lhermitte, Ramzy Bedia, François-Xavier Demaison, Laurent Stocker, Pascal Demolon, Michaël Grégorio, Max Baissette de Malglaive, Marina Hands, Loïc Legendre, Alice Belaïdi, Annabelle Lengronne, Frédérique Tirmont, Marc Berman, Eden Ducourant, Anne Bouvier, Clément Michel, Yvon Martin
Music by Yael Naïm, David Donatien, Maxime Desprez, Michael Tordjman, Yael Naïm
Cinematography : Pierre Aïm
Edited by Sophie Reine
Production companies : Curiosa Films
Distributed by Warner Bros (France)
Release date : May 25 2022 (France)
Running time : 97 minutes

Seen on May 26, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 7 seat A19 

Mulder's Mark: