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 [fr]
Distributed by
  • Mars Distribution (France)
  • Filmax (Spain)
Release date
17 May 2002 (2002-05-17)
Running time
122 minutes
  • France
  • Spain
  • French
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Catalan
  • Danish
  • German
  • Italian
Budget$5.6 million[1]
Box office$31 million[2]

L'Auberge Espagnole (/lˈbɛərʒ ˌɛspənˈjl, -pæn-/; literally: "the Spanish inn"), also known as Pot Luck (UK) and The Spanish Apartment (Australia), is a 2002 French-Spanish film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It is a co-production of Mate Production, Via Digital, BAC Films, Ce qui me meut [fr], France 2 Cinéma and Studio Canal).[3]

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 part of the Spanish Apartment trilogy, which continues in the sequels Russian Dolls (2005) and Chinese Puzzle (2013).[4]


Xavier (Romain Duris), a 24-year-old student from France, attends the Erasmus programme in Barcelona to further his career, against the wishes of his girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou). On the flight, Xavier meets a married couple from France, a doctor and his wife. They invite him to stay in their home while he looks for somewhere to live. Xavier 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 the French doctor's wife, using seduction tips learned from Isabelle (Cécile de France), 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 gets depressed and hallucinates after Martine breaks up with him. He seeks the doctor's advice, but the doctor 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 in a romantic encounter with an American.

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 Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76%, based on 92 reviews, with an average rating of 6.53/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This multicultural comedy captures the chaos and excitement of being young."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]


Awards and nominations for L'Auberge Espagnole
Award / Film festival 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 [fr] 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's Box-Office.
  2. ^ "L'Auberge Espagnole". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  3. ^ "L'Auberge espagnole - Cinémathèque française" (in French). La Bibliothèque du film. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  4. ^ lefigaro.fr (11 September 2012). "Cédric Klapisch tourne Casse-tête chinois à New York". Le Figaro. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  5. ^ Aline Angoustures (2004). L'Espagne. Le Cavalier Bleu. p. 117. ISBN 978-2-84670-078-8.
  6. ^ Planelles, Georges (2013). "Une auberge espagnole". Expressio.fr.
  7. ^ "L'Auberge Espagnole (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ "L'Auberge Espagnole reviews". Metacritic.

External links[edit]