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Francois Merlin is an espionnage-book writer. He likes to mix every-day character he can met in his book. In his book, he is Bob Saint Clar, his neighbour Christine appears as Tatiana and his editor Georges Charon as Colonel Karpoff. Written by
Jean-Yves Simon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Anachronistic meets anarchic. This things still got some shelf life, although I do think its potency is somewhat diluted by time. And also perhaps by translation, I would bet there's some clever wordplay going on in parts that were lost upon me. I remember wondering what modern French audiences would think if they ran across "Airplane." Not a fair comparison, but not far off the mark...
The dual performance of Jean-Paul Belmondo is definitely a couple of cuts above what you would expect for a film that's basically a laugh lark. I mean the guy is often called upon to take splashy pratfalls, but has to play both virile playboy and nebbish nancy-boy. Yet if you take a still from any scene in the film you could immediately discern which one was on screen.
As Bob St. Clair, his overly self-satisfied smile would crack me up, something about its goofy gallantry reminded me of a sadly departed friend. Ken Hamilton, RIP. You shoulda met him...
Anyways back to the film...
I did enjoy the surreal slips between the film itself and then the book being created within the film. The first one I think was on a beach as the housecleaner blithely waltzes through soldiers storming the sands, vacuuming only to enter a door and voila. Additionally latter battles between the author and his protagonist and/or protagonista mostly worked for me. Though they dipped in shtick.
Afterwards, I watched some of it over with my young (3-year old) twin boys, and they liked it, I mean come on those mariachis with the mobile theme music, they were worth the rental alone. And um yeah, Jacqueline Bisset is beauty personified in this...
Not a lost classic in my book, nor auteur action...but le funny, certainmont.
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