Led by André Dussolier, the comedy “Adopte a Widower” released in 2016 redefines the codes of shared accommodation and raises existing issues in our contemporary society. Structures to promote social ties have also been developed in France and they promote cohabitation between young people and the elderly.
Adopt a widower: André Dussolier as a roommate
Adopt a Widower is a French comedy directed by François Desagnat, released in 2016. The film tells the story of Hubert Jacquin, played by André Dussollier, a lonely widower who lives a quiet life in his large apartment. His life takes an unexpected turn when he finds himself, through a combination of circumstances, sharing his apartment with three young roommates: Manuela, a bubbly young woman played by Bérengère Krief, Paul-Gérard (known as PG), a depressed lawyer played by Arnaud Ducret, and Marion , a sweet and caring nurse, played by Julia Piaton.
The film explores with humor and tenderness the dynamics of this forced cohabitation, where generations cross paths and learn from each other. Hubert, who had locked himself away in solitude since the death of his wife, discovers thanks to his new roommates a second youth. He learns to let go and enjoy life, while the young people find in him a father figure, offering balance to their often chaotic lives.
At the box office, Adopt a widower found its audience, with more than a million spectators in French cinemas.
A film that raises current issues
Adopt a widower resonates with very current issues in our contemporary society, notably the housing crisis, but also new forms of cohabitation and the need for social bonds. The context of the film highlights the increasing difficulty for young adults in finding affordable housing in big cities. Intergenerational cohabitation presented in the film appears to be an innovative solution to the housing crisis, making it possible to pool resources and living spaces. This situation reflects a reality for many young people who are turning to alternative forms of housing to compensate for the high cost of rent and the scarcity of available housing.
Adopt a widower also illustrates the growing trend of shared accommodation between different generations, where young and old people live together in a spirit of solidarity and mutual aid. This form of common life, which goes beyond the traditional family framework, responds not only to economic constraints, but also to a desire to recreate social connections and to break the isolation, particularly felt by the elderly.
This type of shared accommodation exists and is increasing throughout France, particularly in large cities, to respond both to the housing crisis and to the need to break the loneliness of elderly people who live alone at home. This is for example the case of supportive intergenerational cohabitationwhich allows people over 60 to rent or sublet part of their home to a young person (under 30), to strengthen social ties and facilitate access to housing.