Synopsis by Mark Deming
The loosely interrelated romantic difficulties of six people living in Paris provide the framework for the drama Nos Vies Heureuses/Our Happy Lives. Cecile (Cecile Richard) is an impulsive bohemian who documents the lives of her friends with her camera. One of her closest friends is Emilie (Camille Japy), who is trying to work her way through a dying relationship with her boyfriend Antoine (Alain Beigel), even though he still seems to have feelings for her. Julie (Marie Payen) is on the rebound from a busted romance and falls for Ali (Sami Bouajila), a Moroccan who washes dishes in a restaurant and is having trouble staying in France. Ali's boss, a chef named Lucas (Jean-Michel Portal), has just watched his marriage crash and burn and is starting to ask himself serious questions about his sexual identity. The first feature after a series of highly praised short films from director Jacques Maillot (and quite a feature at 147 minutes), Nos Vies Heureuses/Our Happy Lives was shown in competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.