Capsule reviews by Desson Howe unless noted.


C'EST LA VIE (Unrated) --

If you've seen either "Peppermint Soda" or "Entre Nous," you'll recognize Diane Kurys's universe of budding teenagers, dissatisfied wives and ineffectual, railing husbands. In this ensemble drama, she may not take you anywhere stunningly original, but she makes a nicely modulated, unhurried vacation of it. When young sisters Frederique (Julie Bataille) and Sophie (Candice Lefranc), along with nanny Odette (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), join relatives at seaside resort La Baule Les Pins, they don't know their mother (Nathalie Baye) and father (Richard Berry) are about to divorce. While their parents are away, the sisters spend vignette time with Odette, their uneducated, lively uncle (Jean-Pierre Bacri), their aunt (Zabou) and their four cousins. The movie mostly follows the children as they swim at the beach, feed laxatives to the goldfish, set fire to the snooty kids' beach club. Diary-writer Frederique develops an infatuation for older cousin Daniel (Alexis Derlon). The grown-up problems inevitably come to roost. Their mother finally shows up. So does their father. So does Mom's artist-boyfriend (Vincent Lindon). This may be the end of Frederique's summer and innocence, but not of that diary. Outer Circle.

THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER (G) -- In this pleasant Walt Disney sequel to the 1977 "The Rescuers," famous rodent rescue team Bernard and Miss Bianca have to save a little boy from being kidnaped by a ruthless eagle hunter. It's got safely scary thrills for the kids and humorous off-screen voices for the grown-ups. Bob Newhart (as timid Bernard) and Eva Gabor (as glam-mouse Miss Bianca) are great together, and John Candy has his behind-the-picture moments as Wilbur, a big old dependable albatross. It's a fun parent-child event. "Rescuers" is preceded by "The Prince and the Pauper," an amusing version of the famous story featuring Mickey Mouse in the dual title role and Disney favorites Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck. Area theaters.

THE TENANTS (Unrated) -- This film, which was the top-grossing movie in Iran, will show you a side of Iranian life you just won't be privy to anywhere else. Written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Darioush Mehrjui, the story's one protracted landlord-tenant dispute between the residents of a dilapidated building and an unscrupulous manager (Ezatolah Entezami), who refuses to fix the ever-bursting water pipes. Some workers, hired by the tenants to fix the problems, get caught in the middle. There's a lot of arguing, fighting, heated discussions, explosions and food preparation. In terms of accessible comedy, this production could use some serious streamlining. But let's face it, how many madcap flicks are you going to see with characters called Mr. Baagery, Mr. Qolaam and Akbar? Although it's slow-paced and just a little too goofy in the slapstick area (watch particularly for Akbar Abdi, Iran's answer to John Candy), it's also high in spirits. In Farsi with subtitles at the Key.