I am a great fan of both Louis Garrel and Romain Duris, and was not disapointed by this film. Whilst it may start off slowly, and somewhat confusing, all makes sense in the end. In short, Paul (played by Romain Duris) descends into a pit of depression after having broken up with his long time girlfriend. He returns to his boyhood home to live with his father, which results in his younger brother Jonathan (Louis Garrel) being thrown out of his own room to sleep on the couch.
Both his brother and father try in their unique and personal way to get Paul to emerge from his bed and room, and start enjoying life again. The film is brutally honest in its portrayal of how difficult this can be, and was far from pretentious when dealing with the complex subject matter of clinical depression.
You cannot help but feel for Paul's father as he tries desperately to 'save' his son from the same fate of his younger sister Claire (who committed suicide suddenly a few years prior). The love, affection and gentleness he has for Paul in the midst of Paul's aggression and despair is a true testament to a father which cares deeply for his child. When Paul finally gets to speak of Claire, albeit to a complete stranger, he remarks how people often underestimate the power of sadness. In fact, this short conversation is one of the most poetically beautiful and challenging in the entire film. "Some people are born with sadness".
Whilst the film was not brilliant, and Louis Garrel was in my opinion far better in the 'Dreamers', it does not disappoint. Some of the dialogue between characters is both sublime and profound, and potentially missed by an audience more interested in 'action'.