Claude Verneuil, a Gaullist notary, and his wife Marie, a Catholic bourgeois from Chinon, are parents of four daughters: Isabelle, Odile, Ségolène, and Laure. The three eldest are already married to men, each one of a different religion and a different ethnic origin: Isabelle married Rashid Ben Assem, an Algerian Muslim lawyer, Odile married David Benichou, a Sephardi Jew entrepreneur, and Ségolène married Chao Ling, a Han Chinese banker who is open to all religious beliefs. The Verneuils pretend to accept their sons-in-law but have had a hard time hiding their discomfort at accepting people into the family from outside the community. A family meeting is spoiled because of the awkwardness and clichés about race and religion, expressed as much by the father as by the sons-in-law who even exchange insulting communitarian views to and about each other.
The Verneuils, in despair, put all their hope in their youngest daughter Laure, that she will bring home a Catholic partner, going so far as to arrange an "accidental" meeting with Xavier, a young Catholic man who works in finance. However, Laure reveals that she had chosen a Catholic partner named Charles Kofi, and wishes to marry him. Laure's parents are overjoyed and readily forgive his occupation as a comedian and actor. On the first meeting, however, they are shocked when they discover that the man to whom their daughter is engaged is a West African from the Ivory Coast. Claude begins to sink into depression and spends his time cutting down trees and fishing. Meanwhile, the three sons-in-law get together and plan to stop Laure's marriage out of fear that their friendship will be threatened by a fourth member.
When the Verneuils meet with the Kofis, Marie and Charles' mother Madeline get along well, but Claude finds that Charles' father André is an intolerant, tough, stingy military man and extremely resentful of white colonisation and white supremacy in Africa. Both the groom's and bride's party come head to head and the fathers' disapproval and racist views heat up the situation. On the day before the wedding, André goes out with Claude fishing and unexpectedly find common ground in their dislikes, as both are Gaullists (Charles de Gaulle), and develop a friendship. After catching a large pike, the two go to a restaurant, become drunk with wine and are arrested at the pâtisserie after saying racist comments. Laure is notably upset at this and boards a train, deciding to end the marriage; André and Claude catch the train and persuade Laure to marry Charles. Laure agrees and the film ends with a happy marriage and a night of the family dancing coupé-décalé.Christian Clavier as Claude Verneuil
Chantal Lauby as Marie Verneuil
Medi Sadoun as Rashid Ben Assem
Ary Abittan as David Benichou
Frédéric Chau as Chao Ling
Noom Diawara as Charles Kofi
Pascal N'Zonzi as André Kofi, Father of Charles
Salimata Kamate as Madeleine Kofi, Mother of Charles
Tatiana Rojo as Viviane Kofi, Sister of Charles
Frédérique Bel as Isabelle Ben Assem Verneuil
Julia Piaton as Odile Benichou Verneuil
Émilie Caen as Ségolène Ling Verneuil
Élodie Fontan as Laure Verneuil
Élie Semoun as the Psychologist
Loïc Legendre as the Priest of Chinon
Yvonne Gradelet as a tourist
David Salles as a gendarme
Axel Boute as the young "albino" person in cell
Although set in Chinon, the film was mainly filmed in Paris and in Normandy. A few shots of the castle in Chinon were taken on 10 December 2013.
In France, the film received positive reviews with an average grade of 4.2/5 from AlloCiné for over 9,200 votes on May 30, 2014 as well as press critics with an average grade of 3.7/5 for 7 comments. Le Figaro called it a "triumph," "a phenomenon" and "hilarious."
However, in Britain and the US the film was very poorly received. The National Post stated that the film's humor failed because "it sometimes strays across the good-taste divide and into actual racist remarks, played straight. Secondly (and far more importantly in a comedy) it often isn’t funny at all." Variety magazine adds that the film has been criticized for "perpetuating racist stereotypes and feeding into France's ambient xenophobia." According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the majority of the jokes are extremely heavy-handed – the Jew calls the Arab 'Arafat' and then is karate-chopped by the Asian."
Because of the film's controversial content, it had little global distribution. The Telegraph reported that, "British and American cinema-goers will not get to see a hugely popular French comedy because it has been rejected by film distributors who deem it politically incorrect and possibly racist."
The film attracted over 200,000 viewers in 621 cinemas on the first day. The film received the "Label des spectateurs UGC" two months before its release, like have received other French successes from the box office such as The Intouchables and The Artist. The film grossed a total of US$174.1 million internationally. In France, the film grossing 13.2 million admissions, which is a large commercial success.
France 12 353 181 viewers
Germany 3 769 180 viewers
Spain 1 056 000 viewers
Switzerland 494 542 viewers
Belgium 420 000 viewers
Austria 393 000 viewers
Italia 356 425 viewers
South Corea 190 384 viewers
Canada 152 000 viewers
Greece 126 000 viewers
Poland 100 000 viewers
TOTAL (world) 19 804 298 viewers
In february 2017 a sequel is confirmed for a release in France in 2018