Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

L' Auberge espagnol 2002

aka Pot Luck

Directed by Cédric Klapisch

France / Spain In English, French and Spanish with English subtitles
116 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Dominique Colin


Francine Sandberg


Romain Duris
Cécile Defrance
Judith Godrèche
Audrey Tautou


San Francisco 2003


Student life in a cramped, multilingual Barcelona flat is portrayed with a loose, anecdotal flair in this new comedy by Cédric Klapsich, who evoked a Paris neighbourhood with comparable agility in When the Cat’s Away. Xavier, in his mid-20s, is spending a year in Spain studying economics and improving his Spanish to equip himself for a corporate future in the new Europe. You know as soon as you meet his ostensibly unattached flatmates – an English rose, a Danish stud, an Italian wacko, a German swot, a stroppy Belgian and a Spanish beauty – that his European experience will be character building in ways that he won’t be listing on his CV.
The comedy of national stereotypes is lively and deft – New Zealand audiences may be especially entertained by the characterisation of the Brits – and the film brims with instant nostalgia for the freedom, friendships and sexual chicanery of a 26th year profitably misspent.

L’auberge espagnole is vignettish and offhand, but it’s extremely pleasant, and it suggests what can be done with lightweight equipment and a loose-limbed approach to the right subject… The characters, searching for romance and good times, wander through Barcelona’s raffishly glamorous ochre streets, across the Gaudí pavilions, the sun-drenched piazzas; the movie is as much a love letter to the erotic pleasures of Barcelona as the New Wave films were to the endless social and intellectual enchantments of Paris.” — David Denby, New Yorker