Synopsis by Mark Deming
Two siblings with practically nothing in common are brought together by a real estate deal that threatens to leave them even more at odds than they were before in this semi-improvised comedy. Graham (Paul Rudd) and Rex (Romany Malco) are about as different as two brothers can get -- Graham is sloppy, lackadaisical, and in a state of puzzled wonderment about the world around him, while Rex (his real name is Alan, but he thinks Rex sounds better) is a tightly focused aspiring e-commerce tycoon. Graham and Rex also don't look much like brothers; Rex is adopted, which explains why he's black and Graham isn't. Graham and Rex don't see much of each other, but when a distant relative passes on and bequeaths them joint ownership of a home in the South of France, they fly out together to take a look at their new property. Graham and Rex discover that the estate is in dire need of repair and that the house's domestic staff -- butler Jean (Didier Flamand), cook Sabrine (Maria Verdi), caretaker Pierre (Philippe Mahon), and pretty maid Isabelle (Sylvie Testud) -- is still on hand and expecting to be kept on. Graham magnanimously promises the staff that they'll still have their jobs, but Rex discovers that the previous owner was deep in debt, and the only way to pay off the bills is to sell the place. So now they have to find a buyer who is willing to take the employees along with the home, none of which is helped by the fact that both Graham and Rex are vying for the attentions of Isabelle. The Chateau was shot using digital video equipment, then transferred to 35 mm film for its theatrical engagements.
brother, odd-couple, estate, France, inheritance, butler, caretaker [custodian], chef, culture-clash, maid, servant