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French Comedy Heavyweights Christian Clavier, Catherine Frot Star in ‘Finding Mom’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 1/11/2017 Elsa Keslassy
© Provided by Variety

PARIS – A pair of French comedy heavyweights, Christian Clavier (“Serial Bad Weddings”) and Catherine Frot (“Marguerite”), are set to star in “Finding Mom,” the big-screen adaptation of the popular French play “Momo.”

TF1 Studio is handling international sales on the film and will introduce it to buyers at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, which kicks off tomorrow in Paris.

The director of the play, Sebastien Thiéry, is directing “Finding Mom” with Vincent Lobelle, and wrote the script in collaboration with the actress Pascale Arbillot, who also stars in the film.

“Finding Mom” turns on André (Clavier) and Laurence Prioux (Frot) as a middle-class couple whose tranquil life in an upscale suburb of northern France gets turned upside down by the arrival of a deaf and mute man who claims to be their son. While the couple initially believe they are being conned, Laurence progressively becomes the mother she never was and welcomes with open arms this long-lost son.

“‘Finding Mom’ is a tender family comedy in the vein of ‘La Famille Belier’ which [has] a real universal appeal. It’s about a young disabled man who erupts into this couple’s life and ultimately brings them together,” said TF1 Studio’s head of sales Sabine Chemaly.

A hit in France, the long-running play stars well-known French comedians Muriel Robin and François Berléand. “Finding Momo,” however, will have a definite cinematic look, said Chemaly, adding that the film boasts many different settings and locations unlike other French stage-to-film adaptations such as “What’s in a Name!”

The cast is also likely to stir some interests among buyers searching for a French comedy. Clavier held the lead role on “Serial (Bad) Weddings,” one the most successful French comedies in the last decade. Frot, meanwhile, won a Cesar award last year for her performance in “Marguerite,” which was a critical and commercial success in France and abroad.

The film is produced by Olivier Delbosc, the well-known producer of “The Odyssey,” “Marguerite,” “Little Nicholas” and “Renoir.” Delbosc is producing via his new company, Curiosa.

TF1 is currently in negotiations with a French distributor to hand out theatrical rights to “Finding Momo.”

While at the Rendez-Vous, TF1 Studio will also host market screenings of six new films: Philippe Lacheau’s anticipated comedy “Alibi.com,” Eric Capitaine’s “Love is Dead,” Gérard Pautonnier’s “Back in Business” and Fréderic Forestier’s “Honey Bunny.”

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