"It’s Not in the Stars . . ."
What You Need To Know:
HAPPENSTANCE is another in a long line of charming French movies that explores the importance of love, fate and free will. Regrettably, however, the movie’s writer/director has added an occult spin to this archetypal French comedy. This movie also contains some strong foul language, a brief scene of full male nudity and other potentially objectionable material. Of course, your destiny is not in the stars but in the hands of God.
(PaPaPa, OOO, B, LL, V, S, NNN, AA, D, M) Pagan worldview with strong occult message & some incidental moral elements including one positive reference to God & movie suggests that everything a person does do, including little things, can make an important impact on the world; about 18 obscenities including a few “f” words & 1 mild profanity; mild violence (done in a light comical fashion most of the time) includes object cracks car windshield, two people break their noses & man on bicycle knocked unconscious after wrecking; sounds of adulterous sex; brief full male nudity when man wakes up after sleeping with his mistress, who comes out of shower wrapped in a towel; alcohol use & drunken bum; smoking; and, lying partially rewarded, adultery eventually rebuked & man steals woman’s purse.
Most reviews of HAPPENSTANCE, a light, quirky French comedy, probably will not mention its strong occult elements, which include astrology and tarot cards. Instead, they are likely to focus on the movie’s theme of fate and coincidence governing people’s lives. In spite of the movie’s pagan, occult worldview, it steals an idea from Christianity, that all the things we do, including the very little things, make an important impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. This is not enough to save this movie from the evil context of its regrettable worldview.
In the story, Audrey Tautou of AMÉLIE stars as Irene, a young store clerk who’s read her horoscope for the day by a woman on the subway. The horoscope says that Irene will meet her true love that day. A young Algerian man sitting nearby overhears that Irene has the same birthday as he, but he fails to act on the possibility that, perhaps, he is the one true love that Irene is supposed to meet. As other characters come and go, it gradually becomes clear that getting Irene and the young man together is going to take a series of coincidences and actions involving these other people. Among the people is a man who can’t decide whether to leave his wife and children for his mistress.
Of course, the story in HAPPENSTANCE is a lot more complicated than this. The filmmakers seem to have a lot on their mind. Still, when it comes down to it, HAPPENSTANCE is another in a long line of charming French movies that explores the importance of love, fate and free will. Furthermore, 40 years after France ran into problems with Arab extremists and terrorists in Algeria, it seems that the country is still having to come to terms with the Algerian immigrants who fled that country when they were caught between these terrorists (some, if not many, of whom were Communists) and the French government’s awkward attempts to deal with the situation in its former colony.
As noted above, writer and director Laurent Firode has given an occult spin to this archetypal French comedy. In the end, the movie validates the occult astrological prediction for Irene and the young Algerian man. It also contains some strong foul language, a brief scene of full male nudity and other potentially objectionable material. Of course, your destiny is not in the stars but in the hands of God.