Francis Bartek, a rich business man, lives with his three lazy and extravagant children in his fancy villa.
Since the death of their mother, Francis overprotects them and cater to all their needs. He finally recognizes they became spoiled adults. Philippe, the irresponsible and pretentious eldest, “works » in his father’s company: in others words, he just takes it easy, enjoying parties with other posh boys who flatter his ego and his weird business ideas. Stella, the snobby pretentious daughter, is going to marry Juan Carlos, a supposedly rich Argentinian playboy. Alexandre, the youngest, was kicked out from his university after he seduced several teachers, all older than him.
After a heart attack due to a quarrel between the college dean and Alexandre who seduced his wife and daughters, Francis realizes suddenly that his children became unbearable and spoiled, reveling in such wealth and idleness. He understands he has to react and decides to trick them to teach them a lesson. Therefore, he stages his own bankruptcy, pretending he has been framed for corruption and misuse of company funds, and the State has seized all his properties. The Barteks have no choice anymore and have to retreat, hidden in the modest farmhouse of Francis’s father, near Marseille. To survive, the children would have now to do something they never did: work.
For Philippe, Stella and Alexandre, this is the highway to hell: they live in a derelict house, without any hot water nor electricity, and they have no cars nor credit cards, and they can’t get in touch with anyone from their past life. But the worst: they have to earn money each day if they want to eat. Matthias, the housemaid’s nephew, helps Stella to find a job as waitress. Philippe becomes a bicycle-cab driver.
And Alexandre helps his father to fix the house.
They get used to this new life, little by little, and became again, through the time they spend together, a unified and functioning family. Francis realizes that he has been drifting apart from his children during many years: he even ignored that Alexandre was dyslexic, Stella bulimic, and therefore he does all he can to solve these problems.
However, Juan Carlos, Stella’s fiancé, comes and breaks this new balance. He discovers the scam made by Francis and decides to blackmail him: he would reveal Francis's scheme to his children, unless he accepts that he marries his daughter, sharing all his properties.