Bed and Board (1970)

Genres - Comedy Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Andrea LeVasseur

Though not as well received as some of the other tales in Truffaut's semi-autobiographical Antoine films, Domicile Conjugal has some simple beauty to it. The opening scene with the camera following on Claude Jade's legs walking down a Paris street is a good example of how the French New Wave had fun with filmmaking. Not much happens in the story as the young couple experiences everyday events and petty newlywed squabbles. It looks beautiful, though, as their charming apartment community is populated with eccentric and colorful neighbors. Most notably, the opera singer who is increasingly impatient with his wife acts as something of a symbol of the drudgery of daily married life. Also featured in the supporting cast is veteran Jacques Tati for some genuine comedic bits. As with many Truffaut movies, the funniest parts are in the small details, and the episodic nature of this film is filled with such moments. However, after their child is born, the warmness gives way to a more subdued drama. The scene where Antoine meets his father-in-law in a brothel hallway is treated tenderly, but still has a sobering effect. It's as if his delightful mischief is finally seen as having serious consequences on others, bringing some maturity to his character and causing him to reflect.