In “Le Prénom”, an argument breaks out during a dinner in a Parisian apartment when Patrick Bruel reveals what he intends to call his son. A situation far from unknown for some members of the film crew, starting with the late Valérie Benguigui.
First name : not very sincere friendships
After experiencing success in the theater, Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte transpose First name in the cinema in 2012. And the spectators are there again at the rendezvous. The film totaled more than 3.3 million admissions in cinemas.
The feature film takes place in a Parisian apartment and marks the return of most of the actors in the play. Valérie Benguigui takes on the role of “Babou”, a French teacher in Vincennes who invites her relatives to dinner with her husband Pierre. The latter, who teaches literature at the Sorbonne, is played by Charles Berling. The actor is the only newcomer to this little band on the verge of exploding.
Among the couple’s guests are Vincent (Patrick Bruel), Babou’s brother, his partner Anna (Judith El Zein) and Claude (Guillaume de Tonquédec), a childhood friend. While waiting for the late arrival of his wife, Vincent gives some news and reveals his recent ultrasound examination. In a playful mood, the future father then tries to make his guests guess the first name of his unborn baby.
And when he finally reveals it, an argument breaks out. A discussion that will lead to a real settling of accounts in the family. Vincent’s haughty character, Pierre’s intellectual contempt, Anna’s ability to never be on time… Everyone will have their jackets cut and be forced to listen to hard-to-hear truths.
A situation experienced by Valérie Benguigui
In 2013, the Académie des César awarded Valérie Benguigui and Guillaume de Tonquédec for their performance in First name. The first gives rise to one of the cult scenes of the film. In this passage, she launches into a memorable monologue before going to swallow a box of Temesta to “sleep for two days”. A speech that totally reveals Babou and the sacrifices she had to make. The character remains one of the iconic roles of the late actress. A few months after obtaining the prestigious award, she died of cancer in September 2013 at the age of 52.
During the promotion of the feature film, Valérie Benguigui confides that she herself had heated debates with members of his family around the choice of the first names of his children, Caesar and Abraham. As reported Allocinatedthe actress then reveals that she suffered inappropriate remarks from her parents.
Memories that underline the universal nature of comedy, and which are also common to those of Alexandre de La Patellière. The co-screenwriter and co-director explains for his part with humor:
As good “bobos” that we are, we gave our children quite original first names. On the occasion of joint family vacations, we were able to notice how much this provoked epidermal reactions, even in a polished universe like ours!