Broadcast this Sunday evening on TF1, “Back to my mother’s house”, a comedy led by Alexandra Lamy forced to return to live with her mother (Josiane Balasko), evokes those we call the “boomerang generation”.
You certainly remember the comedy Tanguy, directed by Étienne Chatiliez and released in 2001, a big theatrical success, in which the 28-year-old son of a couple was in no particular hurry to leave the family home and advantages that come with it. The film has also become so cult that its title – and by extension the first name – have even entered everyday language, precisely to characterize a young adult who takes longer than average to leave the family cocoon.
More than a decade later after this “Tanguy generation”, we talked about the “boomerang generation”, the very subject of the film Back to my mother’s house, the comedy signed by Eric Lavaine, carried by Alexandra Lamy and Josiane Balasko, broadcast this evening on TF1. The director got the idea for his film, released in 2016, while watching a TV report on this subject. What are we talking about ? The term refers in fact to these adults forced to return to their parents, generally because of a job loss.
Below is the movie trailer …
This concept was actually born in 2005, invented by a Canadian sociologist named Barbara Mitchell, who then spoke of “boomerang children”, after noting that 40% of young Americans returned to their parents. In 2009, the BBC wrote an article on the subject, citing the figure of 111,000 people, aged 16 to 29, forced to return to live with their parents, in the wake of the 2008 crisis.
Yes Back to my mother prefers to dig a comic vein, the reality is much less playful … According to a study published in 2015 by the Abbé Pierre Foundation, entitled “The hidden face of the Tanguy“, out of 4.5 million adults living with their parents in 2013, 925,000 had lived alone before returning to their family home.
Half of these people had lived for more than three months in independent accommodation before returning to the family home, more than a year for two thirds of them. The number of young people over 25 in this case jumped 20% between 2002 and 2013, from 282,000 to 339,000.
A phenomenon far from being only French, but international. “In recent years, this phenomenon has further amplified in Great Britain, France, Spain, but also in the United States and Japan” explained the sociologist Sandra Gaviria, from the University of Le Havre, in an article published in 2016 in the journal Sociology, entitled “The boomerang generation: becoming an adult differently”. “Thus between 1950 and 2003, the rate of returns to Great Britain fell from 25% to 46%” she wrote.
A phenomenon that is growing with the pandemic
Insecurity, difficulty finding a job, the explosion in the cost of rents … And now the devastating impact of the pandemic linked to Covid-19: there is no lack of arguments to explain this phenomenon which does not exist. has since ceased to gain momentum.
According to figures provided in June 2020 by the DREES (Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics), which depends on the Ministry of Health, this return often occurs at the end of studies or to look for a job (26%), during studies ( 24%) or following a break-up or bereavement (20%).
Although students are the most numerous (42% of adults living with their parents), 58% no longer are. Almost a third are employed, and 19% are unemployed. Add to this that 60% of them have a baccalaureate degree or more. In addition to this category of the population, 3.8 million other adults have never left the family cocoon, often for financial reasons.
Back to my mother’s house, for the record, Alexandra Lamy plays Stéphanie, forced to return to live with her mother. She is welcomed with open arms: to her the joys of the overheated apartment, of Francis Cabrel on repeat, frenzied Scrabble games and precious motherly advice on how to sit at the table and lead her life … Each one will have to show infinite patience to endure this new life together. And when the rest of the siblings arrive for dinner, score settling and family secrets will be unleashed …