Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s name may not very familiar to audiences on this side of the Atlantic; although long-time readers of Shadow and Act may remember his name or face, as we’ve covered some of his work on this blog over the years, as a writer, director and actor. He’s been in the business since around 1999, although he hasn’t appeared in any films or TV shows made in/for the USA. They’re all local to France.
Jean Baptiste, who typically writes, directs and stars in his own films, has done the same with the new comedy-drama “He Even Has Your Eyes” (original French title, “Il a déjà tes yeux”), which co-stars an actress that should be more familiar to you in Aïssa Maïga.
Synopsis reads: In their mid-30s, Paul (French of Martinican descent) and Sali (French of Senegalese descent) are happily married and the proud new owners of their own florist’s store. The only cloud on their horizon is the long wait to adopt a child. Sali’s Senegalese parents, Mamita and Ousmane, even have a name ready for their future grandson: Lamine. Just when the couple have given up hope, the adoption agency calls with good news: despite the curious opposition of the infant’s case worker, Mrs. Millet, they have a baby boy for Paul and Sali! Their best friends, legal eagle Prune and stoner Manu, rally to make sure the house is ready, so the adoption will be approved. Paul and Sali’s new baby is six months old, he’s beautiful, he’s called Benjamin, he has lovely blue eyes… And he’s white!
You can probably imagine the dramedy that follows…
Zabou Breitman, Vincent Elbaz, Michel Jonasz, and Naidra Ayadi round out the key cast.
Maxime Delauney and Romain Rousseau (of Nolita Cinema) are producers.
The film, which was shopped to international distributors at the Cannes Film Market (Marche du Film in May 2016), opened in France on January 18, 2017, where we’re told it performed reasonably well, opening to mostly favorable reviews from French critics, with the consensus summarizing it as a heartwarming tale.
Following its French opening in January, we’ve been informed that the film has officially hit USA shores, picked up by Netflix where it’s now premiered. So Netflix subscribers can stream it immediately, or add it to your queue for later.
A trailer for the film with English subtitles follows below: