|Index||6 reviews in total|
As usual, Pierre Richard stars with a clumsy, naive, unfortunate
This time, he's a well-known painter, Yann Ducoudray. He has invited a
married woman Florence Arnaud (Fanny Cottencon) to 'visit his workroom'.
But, a few minutes before the crucial Rendez-Vous, his beautiful next door
neighbour Eva (young Emanuelle Beart) accidentally locked herself outside
her flat. Of course, she is half-naked, and ask Yann some help. He
because he's expecting Florence to come very soon, but Eva manages to
And then, it's a succession of hilarious situations, with the arrivals of
Florence, her unexpected husband Andre, Eva's boyfriend Boris (Richard
Bohringer), the police, and many more.
All the actors are perfect, Pierre Richard of course, but also all the others; and don't miss Richard Bohringer as the violent/jealous/depressive/alcoholic boyfriend. A revelation! This movie is not very long, but it's a wonderful comedy. And we get to see Emanuelle Beart almost naked. What more could we ask for? This was at first a successful play (as a lot of good french comedies) and the transposition is excellent. If you like Pierre Richard, or french comedies in general, I think it's one of the best you can find. It has this title ( the american title is the right translation), because 95% of the movie happens in front or inside Yann's flat, located on the left when you leave the elevator.
This was the first time I saw Emanuelle Béart, and I have been a fan of her work since then. This is the kind of comedy the french are famous for. Witty dialogue, absurd situations, surprises every few minutes... you get the point. It WILL entertain you.
A good comedy without pretensions. The French are good at making these
kind of movies. Pierre Richard is good in his usual goofy type of
character. Bohringer, Cottençon and beautiful Emmanuelle Béart also
give solid performances. The movie plays like a sitcom with all kind of
"loufoque" situations happening along the way. The gun/lighter scene is
just hilarious! Bonus: it as a running time of just over 80 minutes.
Good comedy by Molinaro. Great for a little comic relief on a rainy or
Seen at home, in Toronto, on January 22nd, 2005.
This is one of the funniest comedies I've seen.
Let's get this part out of the way: There is no reliance on slapstick, no people slipping on carpets or banana peels, no falling, pies thrown on people's faces, etc. There is no disgusting stuff, such as someone eating something dirty, having a condom on their hair, etc. No toiler humor.
The jokes are universal, even with subtitles and being distant from that era, it's still really funny. There is no reliance on pop culture references, current events, etc. which often leads to films losing their humor over time. Yes, Tom Cruise going crazy over Oprah's sofa was funny, but it won't be funny when people don't get the reference 30 years from now. This film doesn't rely on reference, it's funny on its own.
One thing thing that makes this film even funnier is that it's just a comedy. There is no drama, no bigger story. Many modern comedies are dramas with lots of jokes. An example is Knocked Up, which is at the end of the day the story of an unlikely couple getting together to raise a baby. Then there are comedies like 22 Jump Street that have a lot of action.
There is no action here, no drama, just laughs from start to end.
It has a Seinfeldian quality to it, not just that they both look old now, but I could compare this film to Seinfeld's air-conditioner/parking lot episode or the Chinese restaurant episode. There is an absurdist element to it too. It also has that Larry David style of intertwining events. Some comedies, especially road trip formats, offer a series of events, one after the other, but they have no consequence on each other. This one, in Larry David style, has a domino effect. Every event has a consequence on the next, every character interacts with every character and furthers the story.
Finally, this film does remind me of Le Diner de Cons in its style.
I give this film 8.6, rounding up to 9/10 for IMDb. Highly recommended as a comedy.
With such a title, the tone is set: whoever leaves the elevator will
probably go to the wrong doorstep, the one in the right, right? Wrong!
Surprisingly, the elevator never plays the required role plot-wise, only the two doors on the 6th floor do, to the point one of them got credited in the end (cute gag). Still, the movie with its improbably weird title is the expected comedy of errors, with its share of incidents and misunderstandings. It was directed in 1988, by an expert of the genre: Edouard Molinaro and it starred the perfect actor for such a twisted movie: Pierre Richard, as Yan, a successful painter leaving in one of these big bohemian lofts in Paris' upper class quarter.
Indeed, Richard was born to play that role, (although it's not saying much about the film). For instance, there is one scene where Yan shows two guns, on his right hand, the one his father brought from Algeria, on the left, a gun-shaped lighter his friend bought in New York. As he struggles to explain to two bewildered policemen that he accidentally shoots his neighbor Boris (Richard Bohringer) because he thought the real gun was the lighter, he pulls the lighter's trigger, and you certainly haven't seen enough comedies if you don't expect a 'Bang!' to come after. You got it, both guns were real. The gag doesn't work despite but because of its predictability.
So, what we've got here is the quintessential 'Pierre Richard' gag. Pierre Richard, with his curly hair and goofy appearance, has specialized in roles of unlucky schmucks whose well-meaning intentions always lead up to crazy situations. And it often works within the same binary timing. 2 years before, In his last movie with Depardieu, where they played their "clown / straight man" duo for the third time, him as a fugitive and Depardieu, an ex-convict, he was asked to bend his head when he goes outside. Naturally, seeing two cops walking toward him, he bends it so low he hits a lamppost, drawing their attention. He moves forward, saying he's okay only to hit it a second time.
Hilarious classic Richard! His characters are so desperate to play by the rules they make the situation even crazier. In "On the Left as Leaving the Elevator", despite being 54 and 23 older than his love interest, Florence, played by the sweet and sophisticated Fanny Contençon, he looks young enough, to play one of his trademark characters before the "Tall Blonde" would look shorter with unrecognizably white hair, and a comical appeal belonging to the past. The film plays like a last gasp of nostalgic air. Nostalgically speaking, Molinaro, who directed such comedic gems as "The Birdcage", "Oscar" and "Hibernatus", all adapted from plays, proves that he works on familiar territory.
Indeed, the late, twice Oscar-nominated, director provided classic behind-closed-doors comedies and never has the expression been so appropriate since it works as the film's opening and running gag. Noticing that her boyfriend Boris forgot his briefcase, Eva leaves the apartment and then locked herself out of her in sexy underwear (I'm sure this movie established her status as a French sex-symbol). She rings at Yan's doorbell but expecting Florence to come at any time, and given the way she's dressed, or more specifically, undressed, he's reluctant to let her in. He eventually accepts and suggests to get to her apartment from the adjoining balcony and opens the door.
Naturally, Boris comes back because he forgot his briefcase and when Florence calls Yan, Eva picks up the phone. Yet the film transcends its vaudevillian aspect, Florence doesn't get easily upset, and Bohringer expresses his jealousy in such a flamboyant way he becomes the film's romantic lead while the 'hero', Richard is the eternal victim of 'bad' luck, reaching its peak in the cops' scene. The superior officer is a tired and not-too-smart looking Michel Creton and his subordinate is a freshly graduated black nerd-looking officer played by the ironically named Eric Blanc. Oddly enough, what used to be my favorite part doesn't ring the same bell in my mind (no pun intended).
I won't go as far as suggesting that the fact that the character was black was supposed to be the gag, it was probably his young age and the fact that most cops in France carry the reputation of being dumb. I give the writers the benefit of the doubt (although the portrayal of the sexy black maid was not deprived from racial stereotypes). But the thing that makes the joke fall a little bit apart is the fact that what Yan desperately tries to explain are pretty obvious for the audience, and it doesn't even take a smart officer to clear it for us (no pun intended). This is why the lighter-gun mistake, one of the film's best moment is still not as funny as the lamppost gag. You see it coming.
I guess this is why I'm not too enthusiastic about Pierre Richard's performance as he was part of the most predictable gags. As for Boris' jealousy, it's a bit overused as it goes from a running gag to an irritating gimmick. Overall, the film is not a laugh-riot, despite some solid performances, it's not the masterpiece of the year, but it has a sunny freshness, maybe the lighting has to do with it, it also carries an old-fashioned innocence probably due to the film-maker being a man from the 60's, an era where it was possible to laugh at stereotypes, it worked better with gay than with black people in this film, and despite its kitschy 80's English song, some bits seem out-of place.
I noticed the number on Yan's doorstep was 6, so I think it's the right rating plus one for Richard's last great comic role, Bohringer's fierce passion, Béart's sex-appeal and a reasonable length (less than 80 month) making the film enjoyable from beginning to end.
This is a most unfunny comedy. Pierre Richard can usually be relied upon for a laugh but here he bombs completely. The same two or three jokes are repeated over and over again. Richard Bohringer is at his most grating and Emmanuelle Beart is wasted. The only redeeming feature is that it only lasts about 80 minutes.
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