L'Auberge espagnole

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L'Auberge espagnole
French theatrical release poster
Directed byCédric Klapisch
Written byCédric Klapisch
Produced byBruno Levy
CinematographyDominique Colin
Edited byFrancine Sandberg
Music byLoïk Dury a.k.a. Kouz 1
Distributed by
  • Mars Distribution (France)
  • Filmax (Spain)
Release dates
  • 17 May 2002 (2002-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 19 June 2002 (2002-06-19) (France)
  • 22 November 2002 (2002-11-22) (Spain)
Running time
122 minutes
  • France
  • Spain
  • French
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Catalan
  • Danish
  • German
  • Italian
Budget€5 million[1]
($5.6 million)
Box office$33.3 million[2]

L'Auberge espagnole (French: [lobɛʁʒ ɛspaɲɔl], lit.'The Spanish Inn'), also known as Pot Luck (United Kingdom) and The Spanish Apartment (Australia), is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It is a co-production between France and Spain.[3]

In the film, an economics graduate student from France, Xavier, spends a year in Barcelona to study. His fellow Erasmus students are from all over Western Europe and have a flatshare. They each speak different languages and have different cultural standards.

The film is told in the first person by Xavier. The dialogue is mostly in French, with some English and much Spanish, a little Catalan, Danish, German and Italian.

It is the first instalment in the "Spanish Apartment" trilogy, which continues in the sequels Russian Dolls (2005) and Chinese Puzzle (2013).[4]


Xavier, a 24-year-old economics graduate student from Paris, attends the Erasmus Programme in Barcelona to further his career, against the wishes of his girlfriend Martine. On the flight, Xavier meets a married couple from France, a doctor named Jean-Michel and his wife Anne-Sophie. They invite him to stay in their home while he looks for somewhere to live. Xavier eventually finds a flatshare with students from England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany and Denmark. The roommates develop a companionship as they struggle with their different languages and cultures.

Martine visits Xavier and returns disappointed when she realizes things are not the same. Xavier begins an affair with Anne-Sophie, using seduction tips learned from Isabelle, his lesbian roommate from Belgium. William arrives from England to visit his sister Wendy and creates tension with his abrasive manner and culturally insensitive comments.

Xavier becomes depressed and hallucinates after Martine breaks up with him. He seeks Jean-Michel's advice, but he tells Xavier that his wife has confessed everything, and tells him to stop seeing her.

Discord divides the roommates, but they come together to aid Wendy, who was nearly caught by her boyfriend Alistair in a sexual encounter with an American man.

After saying goodbye to his new close friends, Xavier returns to Paris and gets his desired job at the ministry, but realizes that his experiences in Spain have changed him. He subsequently runs away on his first day on the job and pursues his dream to become a writer, recounting the story of his experiences in the Auberge Espagnole. Towards the end, Xavier can be seen getting together with his now ex-girlfriend Martine as well.



The phrase auberge espagnole is a French idiom, literally translated as "Spanish inn" or "Spanish hotel". It describes a place where customers can eat what they bring – by extension, that one must be independent.[5]

Another French interpretation is what in English is known as "Going Dutch" or "potluck", hence its English title.

A third meaning of auberge espagnole is a common resting area for travellers from a variety of different cultures and regions.[6]



Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "This multicultural comedy captures the chaos and excitement of being young."[7] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 65 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[8]


Awards and nominations for L'Auberge espagnole
Award Category Recipients Result
Brisbane International Film Festival Audience Award Won
César Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Cédric Klapisch Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Judith Godrèche Nominated
Most Promising Actress Cécile de France Won
Best Writing Cédric Klapisch Nominated
Best Editing Francine Sandberg Nominated
European Film Awards People's Choice Award for Best European Film Nominated
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Audience Award Won
Lumières Awards Best Screenplay Cédric Klapisch Won
Most Promising Actress Cécile de France Won
Sydney Film Festival Audience Award Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards Best Foreign Language Film Nominated


  1. ^ "L'Auberge espagnole". JP Box-Office (in French). Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  2. ^ "The Spanish Apartment (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  3. ^ "L'Auberge espagnole – Cinémathèque française" (in French). La Bibliothèque du film. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Cédric Klapisch tourne Casse-tête chinois à New York". Le Figaro (in French). 11 September 2012. Archived from the original on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  5. ^ Angoustures, Aline (2004). L'Espagne (in French). Le Cavalier Bleu. p. 117. ISBN 978-2-84670-078-8.
  6. ^ Planelles, Georges (2013). "Une auberge espagnole". Expressio.fr. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Euro Pudding". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 13 June 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  8. ^ "L'Auberge Espagnole". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2020.

External links[edit]