I must admit that I am a big fan of foreign films and in particular French and Spanish cinema. This film is not a new release, in fact, it's nearly 10 years old. However, I think the themes and messages within the film are just as relevant and appealing all these years later and so I wanted to share it with you. I first discovered L'Auberge Espagnole (translated into English as: Pot Luck) when I was about to embark on my year abroad in Barcelona. At the time a friend told me that I couldn't possibly move abroad without first watching this film. The only thing I knew before I ordered it on Amazon was that it was a French language film starring Audrey Tatou who I loved in Amelie. I also knew that it was about a group of Erasmus students in Barcelona (exactly the situation I was about the enter).
So, after sitting down and watching the film for the first time I found myself pondering a lot of questions by the start of the closing credits. Firstly I wondered whether this was what my year abroad was going to be like. Was I going to end up like the protagonist Xavier (tortured by a feeling of hopelessness when I returned back to the UK)? Were all the Erasmus students I would encounter going to be that care free? (actually I didn't doubt this).
L'Auberge Espagnole is a comedy. There are many characters who make you laugh hysterically for example, William, the cringe inducing but endearing English stereotype of the film. It is also a film that doesn't take itself too seriously. It doesn't set out to be nominated for an Oscar and it doesn't feature a cast of particularly big names. However, it does deal with some deeper issues that are at first hidden under the comic situations the new friends encounter. These include the troubles found in long distant relationships and the feeling of disillusion that seems to affect all young adults at one time or another. In the film disillusion overshadows their education, career path and future life and helps you to realise this it is ok to feel like this.
Pot Luck is a film that helped me to gain a good understanding of what moving from one country to another is like. Plus, I enjoyed spotting all the locations in Barcelona that I remember! I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who wants to watch something a little bit different and funny or if you are thinking of moving abroad for some time. There are definitely some do's and don'ts in this film, but I'll let you figure those out for yourself.