La Smala (1984)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - France   |  
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In a satire on family values that tends to pass off human cruelty as amusing, this story about an odd family of five children, a father, grandmother, and neighbor is not particularly laugh-provoking. When the mother of this "tribe" of five children leaves for good, their inept father is not sure how to keep the family clothed and fed, and without the help of his neighbor Simone (Josiane Balasko), he would be nowhere. She is attracted to him but eventually gives up on the relationship. Meanwhile, the father grabs his brood and they take off for Paris in search of the wife (after abandoning the body of the grandmother in a hospital corridor because they cannot pay for her funeral). Simone accidentally ends up on the same train to Paris, and out of generosity she puts the family up in her brother's apartment. Actually, her brother is now her sister because he had a sex change. The family records a song together that makes it to the top of the charts, and for good measure they win the lottery. With this change in fortunes, even Simone's relationship to the family may be affected -- especially since a respect for the integrity of women or the ability of men to run a household is never an issue in this nonsensical mish-mash.



abandonment, dysfunctional, neighbor, search