A Perfect Plan

A young woman with a successful career lives happily with her boyfriend. But a terrible curse reigns over his family: every first marriage is invariably doomed to divorce. When her fiancé proposes to marry her, the beautiful girl (Diane Kruger) gets scared and decides to marry the first stranger she meets.

The moon in scope (long live the coprods!)

A young woman with a successful career lives happily with her boyfriend. End. Because you can’t make good films with a simple story, without asperity. Luckily for the plot, a terrible curse reigns over his family : every first marriage is invariably doomed to divorce. When her fiancé proposes to marry her, the beautiful girl (played on screen by Diane Kruger, the very, very beautiful one) gets scared and decides to marry the first stranger she meets.

A stranger? Not really since it will be Dany Boon. And of course, the pieces of the puzzle will not fit together as easily as you might imagine. For this exotic comedy, which will take its cast to Kenya, Scope Pictures, which is co-producing the film in Belgium, has brought the shooting to Brussels (8 days in the studio), but also to Wallonia: to the airports of Liege and Charleroi, to the Chèvremont Abbey, to the bowling alley of Charleroi and to the Binche train station.

Because yes, Belgian cinema is that too. And even more so in the French-speaking part of the country where producers, more or less specialized in the field, organize minority co-productions that allow Belgian technicians or actors, as well as companies, to work on projects to which they would not otherwise have had access: Mon Pire Cauchemar by Anne Fontaine is co-produced by Artemis, The Congress by Ari Folman or Les Adorés with Benoît Poelvoorde by Entre Chien et Loup, Bye Bye Blondie by Frakas, Lexercice de l’Etat, like Looking for Eric in its time, by Films du Fleuve. The list is endless. Co-production is one of the great Belgian specialties. Another advantage of the system is that reciprocity makes it easier for Belgian films to be edited.

In order to attract foreign works, a series of mechanisms have been developed, such as Wallimage, for example, which co-produces projects that make significant investments in the Walloon Region. Or the Tax Shelter, of course, a federal tax mechanism that allows profitable Belgian companies to invest in audiovisual works a part of the money they would have had to pay in taxes. Okay, we are schematizing a bit, but the purpose of this article is not to go into detail. Simply to explain that the Federal State, the regions and specialized companies have radically changed the Belgian audiovisual landscape in the last ten years. Because if money circulates, companies develop, artists can work without going abroad : the whole sector benefits from it. It is not a coincidence that at the same time, a squad of new directors have been able to approach feature films and reveal themselves to the public: Bouli Lanners, Olivier Masset-Depasse, Sam Garbarski, Micha Wald, Bernard Bellefroid, Joachim Lafosse, tomorrow François Pirot, Matthieu Donck, Nicolas Provost or Patrick Ridremont. This is quite a non-exhaustive list that only covers the French-speaking part of our country and the only directors who have been co-financed by Wallimage.

Among the most efficient companies in terms of Tax Shelter, we can note Scope Invest, which was joined in 2005 by a small but hyperactive company, Scope Pictures, specialized in the co-production of French feature films thanks to the money collected by Tax Shelter. He was responsible for Le Petit Nicolas, Potiche, La Chance de ma Vie, Asterix: Au Service de Sa Majesté, Moi Michel G milliardaire, Il Etait une fois une Fois, Un Heureux Evénement, Marsu and Le plan parfait. Films that had no reason to come and shoot in Belgium without this contribution of capital which are not, as you will understand, subsidies, but investments, private in the framework of the Tax Shelter, public for Wallimage which co-finances the film since it spends massively in Wallonia. The contribution of the French Community is slightly different, but nonetheless important, and we will come back to this.
In short, you know our favorite saying: everything is in everything. And vice versa. This is how the machine seems to work!

In The Perfect Plan, Diane Kruger returns to Belgian soil after her magnificent role in the no less fabulous Mr Nobody. And Dany Boon, who studied in Tournai, then directed a large part of Rien à Déclarer at home, will be happy to dive back into the Walloon hills and valleys.
Apart from a participation in Asterix and Obelix, At Her Majesty’s Service, Dany Boon will not shoot any other film in the near future. This is an exclusive opportunity for the producers. The most amusing thing is that Dany was not even considered at the beginning (this is a scoop that you have not yet read elsewhere). The script came to him through the money he shares with Diane Kruger. So it was he who offered his services to the incredulous producers. In passing, he also suggested a change of director. Consequence: The perfect plan will be directed by one of his scriptwriters, a certain Pascal Chaumeil, who is responsible for LArnacoeur

On paper, we have a combination that should be a box-office hit: a French star, a top international actress, a young director who already has a huge success to his credit, a perfectly oiled romantic comedy script, lexotism… Logically, The Perfect Plan (which should be retitled to avoid confusion with Ben Stassen’s animated feature) should be one of the essential French film events of 2012.
And like Marsu or Asterix, he carries in his genes small traces of Belgian-DNA.