July 15, 7:00 am. Deuil la Barre, France.
Marc Boyer, his wife, Véronique, and their two children stuff the last of their things in their minivan and hit the road. Direction: Spain's Costa del Sol, where Marc, against Véronique's advice, has rented for the bargain price of 5,000€ one of the most beautiful villas in Marbella. Marc could never have passed up such a deal, but his wife is skeptical: a fourteen-room villa on 10 acres? At that price? Impossible. Not to mention that the money would be better spent fixing the roof of their own house.
(Of course, Marc declined to tell Véronique that the rent is actually 15,000€, and that he used his winnings from a high-stakes poker game to fund the difference. He cannot tell her, for in fact, under threat of divorce, he swore to her ten years prior that he would never play cards ever again.)
But Marc is motivated by something more sacred, possibly, than his marriage: his love for music. And his love for the town's brass band -- which he conducts as if it were the Boston Philharmonic. Desperate to save the band from the Mayor's budget cuts, Marc, himself a city employee, has invited the entire band to the villa for a special week of intense practice in anticipation of the European brass band contest in August. If they can win one of the top spots in the competition, they will be saved!
Meanwhile: same day, same time. Frankfurt, Germany.
The Orkan family -- Mehmet, his wife and their two pretty young daughters -- pack up the old Mercedes wagon that Mehmet babies as if it were new. Destination: Costa del Sol, Marbella, where this year Mehmet has rented one of the area's most beautiful villas, in order to celebrate in style the wedding of his eldest daughter (who was long ago engaged to a cousin she has only seen in photos). The groom is from a remote part of Anatolia, and for him as for his family, the wedding will be the first time they have traveled outside of Turkey.
Fifteen thousand euro is a huge sum, even if Mehmet has been working in the Mercedes factory for 30 years, and the family is part of the very large Turkish-German community. The French branch of the family, who live in Sochaux, has generously contributed to the rental of the villa, so it's no understatement to say that the entire family is invested in this wedding!
The Orkans set off for Spain in excellent humor (that is, Turkish-German humor) despite the fact that Mehmet dreads crossing France -- a nation of people who mistake Turks for Arabs! Indeed this error will be made more than once over the course of the drive.
July 16. Afternoon. Marbella.
The Boyers can hardly believe their eyes: the villa "Mia Gusto" (My Pleasure) is magnificent. As soon as the rental agent has left, Véronique starts scouring the house, looking for the catch -- there has to be one! How else to explain this unbelieveable price? But after a long night spent searching the house up and down -- no dead bodies in the basement, nothing -- she concedes. Her husband is...a genius. And she promises to express personally her gratitude to him.
The doorbell rings in the middle of the night. Marc opens the door to find the Orkan family waiting there. He assumes that they are the caretaker's family: they assume that he is the previous month's renter trying to scam a few extra days.
Eventually, the situation becomes clear: each family has rented the villa for the month. But how could this happen? Together they storm the house of the rental agent. A bug in the agency's brand-new computer system is to blame. The agent offers to help them find another rental, or a few hotel rooms, or perhaps a camping site? Or he could always compensate one of the families...
But none of this will do: now that they have seen the villa "Mia Gusto," both families want it. So they decide, albeit begrudgingly, to share it.
Organizing themselves as best they can (making sure that the Boyers' ham doesn't end up among the Orkans' food), they do their best to see that the habits and mores of the one don't offend the other. But for both families, the situation is more disastrous with every day. On top of that, the meddling gardener is unbearable. He spends his days spying on the families, on behalf of the villa's owner, making sure nothing is out of place, to the point where he becomes the common enemy of both families.
Meanwhile, Mehmet has not figured out how to explain to Marc that his extended family will be arriving imminently. And of course, Marc is anxiously awaiting the right moment to mention that he is expecting his town's brass band...
The story recounts how they all work their way out of their binds -- sometimes coming up against obstacles, sometimes avoiding them, and other times still, helping each other over them.
Screenplay: Daniel Saint Hamon and David Haddad
Status: Second draft completed
Daniel Saint Hamont and Audrey Schebat
Second draft completed