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  • Colin Fraser


ONE AND A HALF STARS A young man has to grow up when a one-night stand leaves an infant in his care.

Omar Sy, Cleménce Posey


On the Côte D’Azur, young Samuel (Omar Sy) is having the time of his life - flashy boats, big parties, sexy women - until the day English Kristin (French actress Clémence Poésy), a one-night-stand, presents him with his infant daughter Gloria, then hops in a cab and disappears. Distraught, Samuel tries to track her down (unsuccessfully) although the task leads to a new (successful) life in London as a Dad and stunt man. A few years pass then Kristin reappears.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this would-be crowd-pleaser is the way that plot turns and tension points are, at best, difficult to believe. Very little of what happens to Samuel, Kristin or Gloria for that matter reside in any known world; and let’s not think too hard about the garish set design of Samuel’s home, one he shares with an awkwardly conceived, 80’s throw-back-gay producer. Both aspects heighten how much the production would have benefited from more, well, production.

Like a 7-steps programme, all the inevitable touch points are reached (anger, resentment, contentment, disruption and so forth) as Samuel’s new happy life is broken and put back together just in time for the tear-jerking coda. Problem is, so little of what takes place earns its emotional sting that interest in the goings-on evaporates long before the final reel. TWO IS A FAMILY was penned by ten (count em, ten) collaborators, so it’s no surprise that it arrives more pastiche than fully realised feature. Sy and Poésy deserve better.

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