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This second movie of the team from the Splendid (a french theater) is as
interesting as their first "Les Bronzes". Many jokes and many hilarious
shots. The style of the movie is pretty the same than the first but is not
bad imitation. You could see the two movies one after the others (this is
advice) and appreciate them at their true worth.
The fame of these movies is so great that in France, it is very usual to meet people who have seen them more than ten times. The success of the the actors is so good that they have made many movies after these ones and many of them were very good. (For example: "le pere noel est une ordure")
It is an excellent movie!! A French monument! For English speakers, you can find the DVD with English subs on amazon.co.uk. Most of the actors are part of the French comedy group called "Le Splendid", and they're all simply awesome. This movie is a sequel of "Les Bronzes" which in my opinion is not worth watching. It's good but it's far below the laughing fest that is "Les Bronzes font du ski". The dialogues are perfect and the situations are just hilarious. A group of friends who met in a Club Med for single people reunite to go ski together. When they decide to do a helicopter drop at the top of a ski resort things start to go wrong...but it gets real funny for us! I'm French but I hope foreigners will get a chance to watch it since it was a huge success in France along with "Le Pere Noel est une Ordure" (also available on amazon uk)made by the same "Splendid" group.
Follow-up to smash hit "Les Bronzés" with virtually the same cast and
director. This time of course the setting is not a tropic Club Med
place but a winter-sports resort in the French Alps.
Except for a rather annoying 'seventies' disco-style soundtrack, movie hasn't dated at all. Among the many hilarious highlights there is the local "wine" tasting scene and the encounter in a remote cabin with some horny Italians.
Almost everyone involved went on to become a major star in French cinema, as Christian Clavier ("Les Visiteurs" and recently Napoleon Bonaparte in a prestigious TV-series) and Gerard Jugnot (lead in the 2005 Oscarnominated "Les Choristes"). But also director Patrice Leconte became one of France's most respected directors (Le mari de la Coiffeusse,Ridicule,"Les Grands Ducs", etc...).
If you like this try also the crazy "Le Péré Noel est une Ordure", made a few years later and again with virtually the same cast.
This one is even better than the first "Les Bronzés". The director has
traded the Club Med for the French Alps. But the cast, luckily, is the
same. There is some hilarious scenes, especially in the second half.
One example: the food and drinks at the peasants' house in the
mountain. Far from an intellectual movie, it's one that jokes about
some French ways of doing thing or seeing life. Not one of Leconte's
best, but still good. One thing's for sure though, the soundtrack is
passé! Great way to spend a Sunday night at home.
Seen at home, in Toronto, on February 26th, 2006.
This is the first French film I ever saw since moving to France from
the UK a year ago, and what can I say, nothing else compares to it! I
can certainly see why it has become such a classic over here. I've seen
it several times now and it still has me in fits of laughter ever time
I watch it. I strongly advise everyone to watch the original version
and not to bother with the English soundtrack, as the translation is
truly atrocious and a lot of the jokes are missed out.
Set in Val d'Isère in the 70s, a group of friends head for the mountains for a skiing trip, and everything that could possibly go wrong on a skiing holiday DOES go wrong... add to that the unique French sense of humour and loads of witty remarks from the characters throughout, and you have a truly superb film. Highly recommended!
Not much more to say, watch this movie that is a lot more subtle than you could imagine (not just the ordinary farce), and if you want to be accepted easily in France, learn 2 or 3 of the punchlines, you can be sure you'll make friends!!! Everyone knows them here!!!!
"Look Bernard... I think you and I have the same problem: the point is
that we cannot really rely on our looks, especially you. So let me give
you a piece of advice: forget you don't stand a chance, and just go for
it! Who knows, it might work out of a misunderstanding!" These are the
true words of wisdom spoken to his friend Bernard by no one but
France's most endearing cinematic loser: Michel Blanc aka Jean-Claude
Dus. And the 'misunderstanding' part immediately penetrated French
culture as the inspirationally desperate encouragement for
The line I just quoted is my favorite from the "Les Bronzés Font du Ski" not just because of the absurd yet relevant message but for the priceless way it's delivered with the "especially you" as the icing on the cake. Gérard Jugnot as Bernard Morin might not be the handsomest of the bunch, but that these words come from Michel Blanc, who's not exactly Alain Delon, turns an already funny quote into a genius piece of verbal hilarity.
I deliberately started with this brief analysis because it's the one that speaks the very essential truth about "Les Bronzés Font du Ski": when it's funny, it is very funny, even funnier than the first opus of our dear vacationers' adventures "Les Bronzés".
Indeed, more than a sequel, the 'ski lodge' version of "Les Bronzés" is a second and much better installment of the series involving Bernard, Jean-Claude, Nathalie, Jérome, Gigi, Popeye and co. They're all here, playing the same characters but this time, the directing is less hazardous than the previous film, the Val d'Isère Mountains provide a breath-taking cinematography with its dazzling white landscape under a sunny blue sky, and the script an additional level of depth on the characters without killing off the charm of their obvious weaknesses or flaws. In one of the opening scenes, when Bernard and Nathalie make their entrance in their chalet's room, they protest against the occupants who put a banal painting in the wall "that belongs to everybody". Later, we see Nathalie hanging a ridiculous clown portrait that makes the whole rant hilariously absurd, postponing its comedic effect.
What is so great about "Les Bronzés Font du Ski" is that every single scene stands alone as a great piece of comedy, which makes any attempt to list the funniest scenes ludicrous. Each scene is either funny or works as the set-up of an even funnier moment, and each character has a moment to shine, provided we knew them from the first opus. Although I believe it's a far better film than the first, the viewing of the latter is essential, if not indispensable.
And even the very supporting characters create memorable moments. During a dinner, Christiane, Domique Lavanant as the insecure old maid, brings her new friend for dinner. The age of the man (who could be her father) is a gag in itself but the way Maurice Chevrit steals the show during that dinner is indescribable. He makes a speech about celebrities who wore toupees with a level of believability and seriousness that I can see appealing to English or sophisticated audiences. The summit of Pythonesque absurdity is reached when he raises his glasses complimenting the wine's taste, totally forgetting that it was the wine he brought himself and what's more, didn't want to share with the others. And God, this is only the starters; the film works on every level of comedy, from slapstick to subtle humor, which makes it among the greatest comedies ever.
And despite the episodic feeling, the little subplots doesn't feel as disjointed as in the second, a tribute to Patrice Leconte who applies his touch on the film and doesn't take for granted the popularity of the characters and the cleverness of the script. The film is still loyal to the spirit of the first one, carried by the central performance of Michel Blanc as Jean-Claude Dus, with his immortal catchphrase "I can't feel that tonight, I'll conclude" which means that he'll "make it with the girl". His desperate attempts to conclude are the running gag of the series that never gets old and inspires some of the funniest moments of the film. The one where he's stuck in the chair lift, in the middle of a night and another more subtle one, when he struggles to seduce a pretty Italian with Popeye. Both lamentably fail and when an enraged Dus asks Popeye "I don't know what prevents me from knocking you" Popeye's answer is funny: "I don't know. Fear, maybe?" but Dus' approval is hysterical.
Still, despite Dus' series of failure, sex is less an issue than in the first film, and the last act features a conventional trip where they'll naturally end up lost, but never does the inspiration desert the film and no part feels too long or too short. The 'Splendid Troop' is still holding very high the flag of humor and the story progresses until a final apotheosis in the highlanders' chalet and a dinner that couldn't have been more unappetizing. The final toast is one of the most classic moments of French Cinema and I still wonder how many takes they had to shoot without bursting out of laughs.
Everything holds up together from beginning to end, alas, the same can't be said about the dreadful and uninspired third opus made 27 years later. But to conclude on a positive note, I want to mention another element on which the film's popularity relies: the extremely catchy piece of pop-music from the late Pierre Bachelet. And as you know, when the music, the writing, the acting, the directing and the cinematography are all at the top of their game, the popularity of a film is hardly debatable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The idea of seeing a comedy by Patrice Leconte, a director with a
history of more serious work behind him, presented itself when this
film turned up on a cable channel. True, this was a film that bears no
resemblance with such movies as "Ridicule", "Intimate Strangers", and
others, more accomplished than this silly comedy. Granted, it was made
by a younger man who showed his genius in staging this sequel of
"French Fried Vacation", which we have not seen, also directed by M.
As comedies go, this strictly for local consumption. It is surprising Hollywood did not steal the plot for a remake, although we cannot be one hundred percent sure it was not the case. Suffice it to say, M. Leconte gives the picture some fun in the snow. The surprise in this film was the presence of the young and energetic Thierry Lharmitte, who went to make a name for himself in the French cinema. We were somewhat disappointed by Josiane Balasco, an actress who has always delivered, but here has nothing to do. Basically, it is the same cast as in the original film. Michel Blanc, and especially the wonderful Christian Clavier fare better than their comrades in the snow.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As far as sequels go - which, on average is not very far at all - this isn't bad. The fantastic success of Les Bronzes was reason enough to get Splendid together to write and perform in a sequel and turn Patrice Leconte loose to 'direct' them. Like the first one it's essentially a series of sketches rather than a conventional Beginning, Middle, End kind of plot but let's face it, the people performing the sketches are some of the best in the business and as other posters have remarked virtually all of them went on to enjoy long careers - Michel Blanc for example is starring in a great new film Je Vais trouve tres beau even as I write and Josie Balasko wrote and starred in a play that finished its run earlier this year - not least Leconte who now has a string of successes to his name. Like its predecessor it's punchlines have entered the language which speaks for itself. It is, however, tarnished with a dirty word "Entertainment" pseuds beware.
If you like it, you're half-way to become a french "classics" amateur! It's not quite understandable for someone who doesn't know a bit about french comedies, yet it can allow you to grab a glimpse of what makes froggies laugh. It's full of references for one who knows a little about France, but it's definitely not a 'clever' movie. Lean back in your seat, imagine you're an average person who just wants to relax and you're in!
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