A couple of friends get together for dinner to talk about Vincent and Anna’s unborn child. However the friendly meeting quickly becomes strained when Vincent reveals the child’s controversial name. This leads the friends to questionable strategies to overthrow the name and unintentionally opens a door for secrets to come out – some of which, would’ve been better left unsaid.
What’s in a Name? is a philosophical story that analyzes the emphasis we intellectually and emotionally assign to the names we pick for our children. Although, humor is used as an undertone throughout the film, we can definitely feel that for the characters, and even for ourselves, name picking is in fact no simple matter. Its focus on history, language and culture is exquisitely entwined with the sarcastic, sassy and often offending banter between the friends who, in the end, realize the real purpose behind a name.
*The recommended snack for this film is: Wine!!
Charles Berling: It is not often that viewers are fascinated by a “know-it-all” character. As a matter of fact, Berling’s interpretation of Pierre is outstanding not for his abundance of literacy knowledge but for his tone and deliverance of said knowledge. Among his wonderful traits is the ability to go from funny to sarcastic to angry in less than a second and still maintain his train of thought in an academic dispute. This of course, only makes Pierre more of a worthy opponent for his brother-in-law Vincent and ensures that the pair will prolong a battle of wits for the already hooked audience.
Patrick Bruel: Pierre believes that Vincent is a person who knows nothing. However, Bruel’s clever, daring and witty personification of Vincent allows him to be the opposite of what Pierre considers him to be – a “know-it-all.” Nevertheless we must not compare the tactics used by these two when bantering for they differ in one essential way – Pierre is quick to argue, while Vincent, much like Socrates, is quick to question not only his argument but also the knowledge behind it.