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French Rhapsody

Written by Antoine LAURAIN

Shoot the Book! @ TIFF 2016 - SELECTED BOOK

This well-structured dramedy weaves together the destinies of a group of colorful characters and paints a surprising picture of the eighties generation, too cocky to realize that they were being outrun by modernity.

Alain, a doctor in his fifties, leads a quiet life that is turned on its head when he receives a letter… thirty-three years late. The letter dates back to when he played guitar in an amateur rock band, The Holograms, along with Bérengère, the singer with whom he was secretly in love; Stan, the perfectionist drummer; Vaugan, the brooding bass player; and Pierre, the quirky, classy, and vintage lyricist. At the time, Pierre's brother, the fascinating JBM, had helped them fund a five track sampler. They had sent it to a record company, but never received a reply. Three decades later, Alain has finally received the record label's enthusiastic response.

Hardly able to contain his excitement, Alain embarks on a quest to relocate his old friends in order to get his hands on the all-important tape. Stan is now a successful, if bitter, contemporary artist; Vaugan has become a dangerous far right political leader; and JBM is now a brilliant and popular businessman with a shot at running for president. Alain’s old crush, Berengere seems to have mysteriously disappeared. As for Pierre, the lyricist who was passionate about literature, poetry, and beautiful objects, he fittingly became an antiques dealer. However, after losing his wife in a car accident and with the pressure of an increasingly tough business with increasingly rare clients, he drowned his pain in alcoholism. When Alain relocates him, it is too late: Pierre has committed suicide.

Alain tries to reconnect with the rest of his old buddies, but they all took different paths and some are weighed down by heavy secrets...

For example, JBM’s high-profile assistant, Aurore, is none other than the daughter JBM didn’t know he had with Berengere from their brief love affair thirty years ago.

During his quest, Alain reflects on his life and the turn it took. What if he had become famous thirty years ago? All of these questions trigger a late midlife crisis during which he has sex with a former porn star, who happens to also be Stan’s girlfriend. With her help, Alain is able to retrieve the tape. He can finally listen to the song again!

After contacting the current artistic director of the record company, Alain discovers that the letter was actually sent by mistake. It turns out that his band never did have a shot at stardom.

Alain is determined to fight his fate and decides to upload the track on the Internet for free. The song becomes an instantaneous worldwide hit and everyone wants to know who is behind this awesome song. Alain is happy and reassured; he is still young and hip, after all!

Antoine Laurain is the author of the bestselling novel The President’s Hat which was sold in 13 countries and adapted for French television (France 2).

He is also the author of The Red Notebook which was sold in 10 countries and will be adapted for cinema by the UGC Group in 2017.

Publisher: Flammarion

Number of Pages: 284

Genre: Dramedy

Setting: Contemporary Paris and France (could be transposed anywhere).

Film and TV rights available.

Foreign rights sold in 3 countries so far : Germany (Hoffmann & Campe), UK (Gallic Books), Italy (Einaudi Editore).

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