Life is a Long Quiet River is the satirically philosophical title for this French domestic comedy. Borrowing a page from The Corsican Brothers, the film begins with a castoff mistress spitefully switching a pair of newborn babies at the maternity ward managed by her doctor lover. As a result, the daughter (Valerie Lalande) of a family of tramps and thieves is raised in a comfy bourgeois household, while the lowlife family ends up with the middle-class family's offspring (Benoit Magimel). Twelve years after the fact, the discarded mistress confesses to her misdeed. The mistress' ex-lover, doctor Daniel Gelin, tries to set things right, with hilariously disastrous consequences. Director Etie Chatiliez had received his training in French TV commercials, so it's not surprising that Life is a Long Quiet River is a string of anecdotes and punchlines.
by Hal Erickson synopsis