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Dan Letellier wants to make a career somewhere. He invents a scheme to ridicule the head of an advertising company called 'Publistella'. It works. But things turn sour when he gets a job at Publistella. He's now at the mercy of the man who has only one proverb: it's tough for everybody. But then, Dan is talented, and begins his own company.
Usually, I am quite fond of obscure French films from the seventies. A lot of satire, experiment, actors who enjoy acting. Especially films with Bernard Blier, who is probably the most famous unknown face in French comedy.
But, to speak with the film: it's tough when films are not that funny. C'est dur is not really a comedy, I guess. As a regular drama it is not bad, but suffers from boring cinematography, corny music and a slow and predictable story. The same battle as always between fresh ideas of the youth and the corruption of the establishment.
The part that is interesting, is the depiction of French business culture in the seventies. A rare subject. This is all about large buildings, meetings, smoking cigars, kissing in lifts, bribing the right people. Mad men avant la lettre. It also reminded me of Viktor Vogel.
I liked the actors though. Blier's charisma is evident. Robert Castel plays his tiny part as salesman great (remember The Wolf on Wall Street? This is how to sell a pen). François Perrin is also not bad as Dan. It surprises me he didn't become one of the 'famous faces' of French cinema. But then it is tough for everyone. (Luckily for him he has his break right now, as the main character in the crime series Mongeville.) A surprising benefit of this film are the pretty women in it like Caroline Cartier (Toby) and Nicole Rouge (Carole). I rate it 6/10.
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