Pleasant and funny road trip about a boy w. two dads
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 11/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fed up with his father getting on his case, Tristan Martin, age sixteen-and-a-half and a dead ringer for someone in Menudo, has run away from his home in Paris, accompanied by Shannon Doherty-lookalike Michele Raffart, to Nice. His parents, Paul and Carol, report his disappearance to the police, who don't seem to care. It's like a stolen car-the question is, when will it turn up? A visit to Michele's rough-speaking father yields nothing.Fed up with her husband's weakness in handling the situation, Carol turns to an ex-beau from seventeen years before, Jean Lucas, a journalist whose book hinted at a connection between a prominent French senator and Rossi, the gambling kingpin of the Riviera. She tells him that Tristan is actually his son so she can get his help. He refuses because he doesn't buy her story or motives, so Carol turns to Francois Pignon, a former schoolteacher and depressive who being the romantic idealist that he is, is only so glad to be reunited with his son. "I've no job, my wife has left me, I live with my mother and hate it. I've no plans, no future, everything is scr---d up... great, isn't it?" Things get really cockeyed when Jean changes his mind, with Carol and Francois none the wiser. Jean is planning a sequel on his book, which could lead to his boss sending him a wreath.Through circumstances, Jean and Francois are united in their perceived common quest, and we see the differences in their personalities straight off. Even before they meet Tristan or realize the connection between them, the adventurous Jean envisions Tristan as someone like himself, a little brute, strong as an ox, and a fighter, while the nurturing Francois sees Tristan as a dreamer, moody, alienated, writing poetry. Also, Jean is tough, which comes in handy when they get in trouble with the leather-clad bikers Tristan hangs out with. Francois, having just suffered a breakdown, has tendencies to cry for no apparent reason. They go to Nice in Jean's snazzy-looking BMW, at least snazzy for a while. Hint--what else does BMW stand for? And where Jean goes, trouble follows, in the form of two toughs sent by Rossi to intimidate, and later, to kill him.One of the main things to come out of this story is that, as Francois and Jean, the latter whose fathering attitude towards Tristan comes and goes, learn, is that fatherhood must be earned. That's something that Paul, Tristan's father should have learned. His defense that he cared for him well and gave him all he wanted, well, doesn't cut the surface. There's understanding as well. And as for Tristan, he's not a bad kid, just a teenager undergoing growing pains who needed a stronger sense of understanding from his parents, and the right sort of understanding, which comes from Jean and Francois, who actually take a caring interest in him. His outing proves to develop his character.Having seen this road trip comedy three times in one year, I can say right now it's one of my favourite French films of all time. Gerard Depardieu (Jean) is still the solid, tall, handsome box office draw that he was in France, and I feel an affinity towards curly-haired Pierre Richard (Francois), best known as "the tall blond man with one black shoe" Having seen this, I'd have wanted a father like Francois, caring, emotional, someone with feeling even if a bit too melodramatic."
An hysterical classic
Evie Renoux | seattle, WA | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gerard Derpardieu and Pierre Richard are magic together. This film is even funnier than when they teamed up in "La chevre". There is a good reason why hollywood tried to remake this very popular film for American audiences. However, the American remake can't hold a candle to this French original.
Pierre plays the bumbling unaware despressive to comic perfection while Gerard's tough no nonsense character provides the perfect contrast resulting in a sensational comedy duo. The mismatched characters pair up to try to find a runnaway boy in hopes of finding out which of them is the rightful father. The humour lasts throughout the film and is great for adults and kids alike. This film is a classic and is known by all in France. It is a must see!"
Hilarious and touching, but mostly hilarious.
Daniel J. Hamlow | 12/30/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first French film I ever saw and it is my favorite! I never get tired of watching it. The story centers around a runaway sixteen-year old boy named Tristan. His frantic mother decides to look up two old lovers (Depardieu and Richard) to help. She tells each of them that they are the father, and would you please go to Nice and look for him? The two start off separately and meet in Nice by coincidence, where they both realize they're looking for the same kid. The chemistry is brilliant between the two: the wimpy (but loveable), emotional Richard and the take charge, tough-guy Depardieu. This is a great movie for people who grew up in the eighties, like me, you'll see the French dressed in funky clothes just like we did back then! There was a recent remake of this film called "Fathers' Day" starring Billy Crystal and Robin Williams which I did not see. It got weak reviews, and no wonder. I really don't think any remake could top this great movie. Even if you don't speak French, see it! There are subtitles and you'll become a French film fan right away. Richard and Depardieu have teamed up in several films; they are wonderful French comics. You'll love the slapstick humor and hilarious situations they get into and there's fine acting all the way through. A brilliant film or, "Un film genial", as the French would say."
Very funny at parts but kind of slapstick
M. C. Crammer | Decatur, GA USA | 01/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wouldn't call this a subtly witty movie, but there were times when I laughed out loud. There were other times when I thought it was predictable and the humor just too broad.
As usual, Depardieu is very funny, but Pierre Richard is equally funny. Depardieu and Richard have both been told that they are the father of a runaway teenager -- the mother figures if they think it's their kid, they'll go looking for him and bring him back. Her husband -- the kid's father - isn't doing anything. Eventually they realize they are both possibly the kid's father (or so they think) so they team up to look for him -- in Nice, where Depardieu is investigating corruption in the casinos. Depardieu is a rough newspaper reporter, whereas Richard is a depressed ex-schoolteacher, so you have the odd-couple thing going.
There's a lot of broad, tough guy humor -- cars getting vandalized, gangsters stalking Gepardieu & Richard, teenage hoodlums, fist fights, that sort of thing. But although that sort of thing isn't usually what I enjoy, some of it did make me laugh out loud."