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Pot Luck

They came from Paris, Rome, London and Berlin to... l'Auberge Espagnole ...where a year can change a lifetime.  

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Pot Luck

What do you get if you shack up a French boy in an apartment in the middle of Barcelona, with a Belgian lesbian, an Italian stoner, a hard-assed German, a straight-edged British girl, a hot Spanish babe, and a leggy Dane?  'Auberge Espagnole', or 'Pot Luck' serves up an appetising and entertaining answer to this question.

Xavier (Romain Duris), an attractive Parisian, leaves his girlfriend (Audrey Tautou in a role Amélie fans might find disappointingly small) and hippie mum for a year to go to Barcelona on an exchange programme to learn business studies and Spanish, when his father tells him this will assure him of a job in the European Commission.  At the airport, Xavier meets an annoyingly perky French neurologist, and his vapid but predictably pretty wife (Judith Godrèche), whose dreary housewifely existence he later manages to spice up with amorous escapades.

Which Xavier finds aplenty at the student flat he moves into, which is filled with a motley but eminently decorative bunch of Europeans.  He invites his college crush to room with him, only to find she's gay.  The Dane and the Spanish girl are seeing each other; a fact his girlfriend in Denmark is oblivious to.  As he is to the fact that he's the father of her child.  The British girl, (whose only defining quality is the capacity to make tea), begins a liaison with a wandering American street musician and part-time Lothario - also unknown to her boyfriend, who chooses to pay her a surprise visit at an inopportune time.  The stoner boy just lopes around in baggy clothing; dispensing the scent of marijuana in his wake like a travelling incense burner.

Throw in an understandably peeved proprietor and a visiting clownish relative who rubs everyone the wrong way with his clichéd, ignorant statements about everyone's cultures, and you've got an amusing series of adventures and intrigues that make the film definitely worth a watch, and some of those Barcelona bars more than worth a visit!

Shruti Ravindran

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)