As the always-popular COLCOA (City of Lights, City of Angels) French Film Festival unspools at the Director Guild in Hollywood this week, audiences are treated to some of France’s finest films. Case in point, writer/director/actor Dany Boon’s latest, “Family is Family” (“La Ch’tite famille”). Having had the biggest opening in France in the last decade, Boon’s film is already on its way to being a mega hit in France.

Boon’s comedic slant on regional, cultural differences

A second act to his earlier record-breaking comedic hit, “Welcome to the Sticks” (2008), Boon once again pokes fun at regional differences between those from “hick” small towns and those elites from upper class Paris.

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Boon plays Valentin, a high-end designer of such form-over-function items as the three-legged chair and metal couches, which induced chiropractic visits – a running joke highlighted throughout the film.

Wildly successful, Valentin and his life and design partner Constance (Laurence Arne) are about to put on a big show at the Palais de Tokyo museum in Paris. Valentin has publically proclaimed himself an orphan to distance himself from his Picard-speaking lower class family. It’s a big surprise then when his hick mother (Line Renaud), brother Gustave (Guy Lecluyse), sister-in-law Louloute (Valerie Bonneton) and young niece, all show up to the designer’s opening. Let the hijinks begin.

Boon examines family relationships through amnesia

Trying to preserve his reputation, Valentin tries to rush them out of the public’s eye, back to his and Constance’s apartment for a quick birthday celebration for mom. It seems Gustave has concocted a lie that mom has Alzheimer’s but wanted to see Valentin for her birthday while she remembered him.

As the truth comes to light, and the family realizes that Valentin doesn’t want them around, the family storms off. When Valentin follows them, an accident occurs. Valentin wakes up in a hospital as a 17-year-old, Picard-speaking uncouth youth. As in many a comedic outings, amnesia creates self-awareness in both the afflicted and surrounding characters. Valentin and Constance must battle through Valentin’s immature, Picard antics in order to truly understand and appreciate themselves, their relationship, and Valentin’s family.

Boon’s homage to his mother and Jacques Tati

In the Q&A after the film’s raucous screening, Boon discussed the autobiographical shades that his film had to his life. Having come from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, Boon dropped his Picard accent when he moved to Paris and worked as a street performer. Boon based the mother in “Family is Family” in part on his own life and his real-life mother, with whom he is close. He even had actress Renaud meet and work with his mother.

As far as comedic inspiration – Boon noted that the physical comedy spoof in the ultra modern shower with multiple high-powered water jet streams was his homage to Jacques Tati. Like Tati, Dany Boon knows how to strike a charming tone with the family comedy, "Family is Family" ("La Ch'tite famille").

COLCOA French Film Festival, now in its 22nd year, runs through April 30 in Hollywood.