Happy 50/Plancha is about a group vacation gone wrong

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A group of long-time friends get together for a friend’s birthday but it doesn’t go to plan in Happy 50/ Plancha showing at the AFFFF 2023.

Happy 50 / Plancha

Just as We’ll all end up together at AFFFF 2020 was a sequel to the previous film Little White Lies about friends getting together for a birthday after a health complication in the first film, Happy 50/Plancha is Éric Lavaine’s follow-up for the characters from Barbecue, which was released in 2014.


A group of friends surprise their friend Yves (Guillaume de Tonquédec, Roxane AFFFF 2020, and also in Lie with Me at this year’s AFFFF) taking him on a surprise holiday to Greece but their plans are disrupted when their flight is cancelled and there’s no other available flight for 10 days. Birthday boy and proud Breton, Yves proposes his manor in Brittany. Brittany isn’t exactly known for its beach weather but it’s Yves’ birthday and the forecast that day is a sunny 27 degrees so the group agrees. However, after day one, the clouds and the rain move in throwing any plans for a sunny seaside holiday out the window.


Forced to spend time indoors together, the men’s true personalities come out, as do some of their secrets and insecurities. There is comedy but there are also tinges of sadness in this film. Then there are the long-suffering wives of the men.

Happy 50 / Plancha
Image: David Koskas

Baptise (Franck Dubosc, Rumba Therapy at AFFFF 2022, and Rolling to you from AFFFF 2018) is insecure and paranoid, particularly when he learns about the superstitions of the Kerzellacs (the Bretons from that part of the region). Ana (Caroline Anglade, also in Rolling to you from AFFFF 2018) is Baptise’s successful wife, who earns more than him while he’s fearful he’s about to get laid off.


Laurent (Lionel Abelanski, Roxane at AFFFF 2020) is upset that he’s now ranked bottom of the group with Jean-Mich’ (Jérôme Commandeur. Employee of the Month at AFFFF 2022, and also in Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde at this year’s AFFFF) now slimmer, successful and with a hot wife, Valentina (Alice Llenas) and child. Laurent’s wife, Nathalie (Valérie Crouzet), has taken herself to sculpture school and is often gaslighted with the men saying “oh you’re still not working”.


Véronique (Sophie Duez) is married to Antoine (Lambert Wilson, De Gaulle at AFFFF 2021) and is at wit’s end dealing with his constant negativity and urges him to seek help to deal with his issues around his relationship with his deceased father.


Laure (Lysiane Meis) is mostly silent throughout the film, serving on everyone in the group, making sure her husband Yves and everyone else is happy, only too happy to oblige. But she can only keep her smile for so long.


We haven’t seen Barbecue to be able to tell you whether Happy 50/Plancha lives up to it. However, there is no requirement to have seen Barbecue in order to appreciate or understand Happy 50/Plancha.


Happy 50/Plancha is a comedy about what happens when you put a group of people together, who are all struggling with their own issues, for too long. There will be fun, yes but secrets will be revealed and things said that would be better left unsaid. That said, this isn’t a serious film but a comedy with a few more serious moments.


Matilda Marseillaise watched the film via a screener.


Find out when Happy 50/Plancha is showing in your city via this link: https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/film/happy-50/


WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 (AFFFF 2023) – the 34th edition of the largest celebration of French film outside of France!


Sydney, NSW: 7th March to 5th April – Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton St, Chauvel Cinema, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne

Melbourne, VIC: 8th March to 5th April – Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Astor Theatre, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema

Perth, WA: 8th March to 5th April – Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema, Palace Raine Square, Camelot Outdoor Cinema

Canberra, ACT: 9th March to 5th April – Palace Electric Cinema

Hobart, TAS: 9th to 19th March – State Cinema

Brisbane, QLD: 15th March to 12th April – Palace James Street, Palace Barracks

Byron Bay, NSW: 16th March to 5th April – Palace Byron Bay

Adelaide, SA: 23rd March to 19th April – Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas

Port Pirie, Renmark, Whyalla, Mount Gambier: 24th March to 26th March – Northern Festival, Chaffey Theatre, Middleback Arts Centre, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre

Gold Coast, QLD: 29th March to 16th April – Dendy Southport

Parramatta, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April – Riverside Theatre Parramatta

Victor Harbour, SA: 3rd and 10th April – Victa Cinema

Bendigo, VIC: 21st to 23rd April – Star Cinema

HOW: The full program of 39 films can be viewed at the official Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 website via this link:  https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary between cities and there are also discounted festival passes available if you want to see several films. (NB You will need to pick the films and sessions when purchasing the pass)


See below for more AFFFF content

Our picks from the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 program

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 first 15 films announced

Country Cabaret: a fun farm film to see at AFFFF 2023

Final Cut: a comedic zombie film that’s even for people who don’t like horror or gore

Sugar and Stars: an inspiring tale about the road to sweet success

Silver Rockers: a film inspired by the story of rocker retirees from Normandy

The Colours of Fire: an heiress seeks revenge

The Origin of Evil is a must-see film this AFFFF

Which films won at the César 2023 and where you can watch them



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