10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"When you first arrive in a new city, nothing makes sense",
This review is from: Pot Luck [DVD] (DVD)
"L'Auberge Espagnole" allows us to see what happens in a year in the life of Xavier (Romain Duris), a young man from France who has been promised a job in the French bureaucracy if he is fluent in Spanish. Thus, he applies to the Erasmus programme, in order to study in Barcelona (Spain) for a year.
Xavier leaves his parents and his girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou) behind, but he meets lots of new people and survives to cultural shock. He also starts an affair with the lonely wife of another Frenchman, and goes to Economy classes at the university. But what will charm the viewer is the chaotic life Xavier will have in the apartment he will share with other foreign students. In a way, the apartment is a little piece of the European Union, with people from Italy, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and France. Of course, there are lots of linguistic misunderstandings, but also an enormous amount of amusing situations and good-natured fun.
I specially appreciated the fact that the scriptwriter and the director (Cedric Klapisch) managed to convey many of the phases a foreign student goes through. For example, when Xavier says that "When you first arrive in a new city, nothing makes sense", but "After you've lived here, walked these streets, you'll know them inside out. You'll know these people. Once you've lived here, crossed this street 10, 20, 1000 times... it'll belong to you because you've lived there".
At the end, Xavier learns Spanish, but also about friendships, relationships and himself. In a way, watching this movie will allow you to be "there" with him throughout the whole process. And truth to be told, that is many things but never boring. Give this movie a try, I promise it is fun :)