L'Auberge espagnole (; 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.
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).
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.
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.
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." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 65 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.
Owlapps.net - since 2012 - Les chouettes applications du hibou