News from Planet Mars

"Des nouvelles de la planète Mars" (English Captions) is ENTERTAINMENT not ART. We celebrated its US Premiere at the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival. Submitted by France and directed by Dominik Moll ("With a Friend Like Harry") we enjoyed a goofy comedy about a fellow who seems to be exploited by everyone. He never hesitates to take a stand, but then he fails to stand there...

I hope I got this cast straight:
  • François Damiens, a Belgian comic actor, plays Phillippe Mars, a pleasant but divorced and overworked father whose unusual, maybe crazy, house guest derails his quiet life.
  • Vincent Macaigne - Jérôme isn't your average computer coder. He is prone to fits of temper (sometimes armed with a cleaver), and he really wants to be a father. But he loses his job, and it's cold out there, and he doesn't dare go home, and....
  • Léa Drucker - Myriam drops the children off with her ex because she has an important meeting out of town. Her son wants her to say the word "cucumber" during her TV news conference to secretly acknowledge him.
  • Veerle Baetens - Chloé needs to have her brother Phillippe take care of her dog while she is out of town.
  • Tom Rivoire - Their newly vegetarian son Grégoire knows he wants to help blow up the chicken farm, but he isn't sure about his History class. "Did Egypt come before the Renaissance?"
  • Jeanne Guittet - Sarah Mars just needs to do her homework but there is that house guest, and her brother, and that dog, and....
Blowie uppie stuff? You bet! Anyone with a speck of decency would want to blow up that new egg farm. They kill all the male chicks because they aren't good for meat and they don't lay eggs. Grégoire is a pretty outspoken new vegan.

As a fan of French films, I got a big kick out of seeing Michel Aumont and Catherine Samie as Phillippe's very happy (but deceased) parents. Trust me.