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Pierre married Florence, the only daughter of a small industrialist. 15 years later, he is the boss, but his middle-class life worries him a lot. When a new young and lovely secretary comes, he starts dreaming. Written by
A bit slow in spots but highly original and enjoyable.
Pierre Étaix directed, co-wrote and starred in this very unusual and often surreal film. It does have its slow moments, but its eccentric sense of humor make it well worth seeing.
When the film begins, you see Étaix about to get married--at which point you are shown a flashback where this character explains to the audience his previous love life as well as what led him to marry Florence (played by the woman Pierre Étaix actually married in 1969). This is the first of MANY occasions where the film breaks through the fourth wall--the invisible barrier between the actors and the audience.
Now the film jumps ahead and the couple is now approaching middle age. The husband is quite successful (working for his father-in-law) and the couple is quite happy. However, a couple nosy biddies see the husband doing innocent things--and their dirty minds misinterpret it. They think he's cheating on his wife and eventually their gossip leaks to the wife and she leaves him--at least temporarily. She does return, but the incident actually gets the husband looking at his own life--the stagnation and the possibility of having an affair with his much younger secretary.
At this point, some of the strangest leaps from the plot occur--and it becomes very surreal. My favorite was a whimsical dream where the husband finds himself in bed and the bed is chugging down the street like a car! And, ultimately, the secretary joins him. Many more wacky surreal touches occur--but I don't want to spoil the film.
The best way to describe this film is a French comedy with hints at the sort of film Woody Allen would soon make--with the strange surreal bits as well as the questioning about one's direction in life. As I mentioned above, it does have a few slow moments but it also has many magical ones that make the film worth your time. A strange but satisfying comedy about mid-life.
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