Show of the week: Happily Married

Happily Married

Chosen as an official selection at the forthcoming Berlinale Series 2020, Happily Married (aka C’est Comme Ça Que Je T’aime) is from Montreal-based Productions Casablanca and recounts the “almost true” story of the Sainte Foy Killers.

The 10-hour comedy drama, produced for Radio-Canada Télé and its streamer Tou.Tv Extra, is set during a 1970s summer in a small suburb of Quebec City. It recounts the story of two couples who leave their children at a summer camp and – following an extramarital affair – end up becoming the worst criminals in the history of Quebec.

The show is the latest to come from writer François Létourneau and director Jean-François Rivard, who previously worked together on Les Invincibles and Série Noire. Cineflix Rights picked up exclusive global distribution late last year and Julien Leroux, SVP of global scripted co-productions, is clear about what attracted the company to the show.

“We loved the fact the story was so specific,” he says. “It was inspired to Francois Letourneau the series creator and writer when he was himself living in Sainte Foy and his parents announced to him they were getting divorced after his return from Summer camp.

“He imagined what could happen to them during those few weeks and took it a bit far! Visually the show looks absolutely amazing with codes going from Fargo to Desperate Housewives.”

Happily Married is, as Leroux puts it, “as true as Fargo is. Could have happened but didn’t.” It does, however, have the creative minds of Létourneau and Rivard to power its story, with the duo adding a “unique tone and humour” as well as “a sense of absurdity,” says the Cineflix exec.

“Jean-François has delivered such a phenomenal job directing the series and recreating 1974. Obviously nothing would have been possible without the passionate work of Joanne Forgues, who has been their producer for many years.”

The drama explores what motivates a group of unremarkable middle-class suburbanites to descend into a ruthless life of murder and criminality, and was a Radio Canada original commission. It will launch on the Canuck company’s SVOD service Tou.Tv Extra first, before debuting on the main linear channel six months later.

“As for Cineflix, we spotted the series at a pitch stage when Mia Desroches [director of content distribution partnerships at Radio Canada] mentioned it to us. We loved it from the first second and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the series now selected in the official Berlinale selection. We can’t wait to see our buyers reactions.”

Producer: Casablanca
Broadcaster/platform: Radio-Canada
Distributor: Cineflix Rights
Logline: After dropping their children off at camp in July 1974, two couples in crisis are confronted by the truth of their disintegrating relationships, ultimately leading them to become the most infamous quartet of criminals in Quebec history