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Jessika Bouchard
Jessika Bouchard


The Spanish Apartment (2002) - A Review

The Spanish Apartment (2002), also known as L'Auberge Espagnole or Pot Luck, is a French-Spanish comedy-drama film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It tells the story of Xavier, a French student who goes to Barcelona for a year as part of the Erasmus programme, and his experiences living in a shared apartment with other international students. The film explores the themes of cultural diversity, friendship, love, identity, and self-discovery.

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Plot Summary

Xavier (Romain Duris) is a 24-year-old economics student who wants to work for the Ministry of Finance. He decides to enroll in the Erasmus programme and study Spanish in Barcelona, against the wishes of his girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou). On the flight, he meets a married couple, Jean-Michel and Anne-Sophie, who offer him a place to stay while he looks for an apartment. Xavier soon finds a flatshare with students from England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark. They are Wendy (Kelly Reilly), Isabelle (Cécile de France), Soledad (Cristina Brondo), Alessandro (Federico D'Anna), Tobias (Barnaby Metschurat), and Lars (Christian Pagh).

Xavier struggles to adapt to his new life and language, but gradually forms a bond with his roommates. He also starts an affair with Anne-Sophie, who is unhappy with her husband. Martine visits Xavier and realizes that he has changed. She breaks up with him over the phone. Xavier becomes depressed and seeks advice from the doctor, who tells him that his wife has confessed everything and asks him to stop seeing her. Meanwhile, Wendy's brother William (Kevin Bishop) arrives and creates tension with his rude and insensitive comments. He also falls in love with Soledad.

The roommates have various adventures and challenges during their stay in Barcelona. They help each other with their studies, relationships, and personal problems. They also have fun and party together. Xavier learns more about himself and his aspirations. He decides to pursue his dream of becoming a writer and writes about his experiences in the Spanish apartment.

At the end of the year, Xavier says goodbye to his friends and returns to Paris. He gets a job at the Ministry of Finance, but quits on his first day. He realizes that he does not belong there and that he wants to continue writing. He narrates the film in the first person.

Critical Reception

The Spanish Apartment received positive reviews from critics and audiences. It was praised for its humor, charm, realism, and portrayal of multiculturalism. It was also a commercial success, grossing $31 million worldwide on a $5.6 million budget. It won several awards, including the César Award for Best Film from the European Union. It also spawned two sequels: Russian Dolls (2005) and Chinese Puzzle (2013), which follow Xavier's life after Barcelona.


The Spanish Apartment is a delightful and engaging film that captures the essence of being young and living abroad. It shows how different cultures can coexist and enrich each other. It also explores the themes of friendship, love, identity, and self-discovery in a humorous and touching way. It is a film that anyone who has ever studied or traveled abroad can relate to.


  • : L'Auberge Espagnole - Box Office Mojo

  • : L'Auberge Espagnole - Awards - IMDb


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