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Une journée de merde! (1999)

This is an important day for Marc Chanois, an insurance advisor heading toward middle age: it's his fiancée Sabine's birthday, her parents arrive in Paris and Marc will meet them for dinner... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc Chanois
Christian Charmetant ...
Guilaine Londez ...
Moonha ...
Julie Debazac ...
Bruno Slagmulder ...
Françoise Pinkwasser ...
Françoise Bertin ...
Mme Pelletier
Eric Prat ...
M. Germaine
Nanou Garcia ...
La nièce
Jean-François Garreaud ...
René, le père de Sabine
Teco Celio ...
Le patron du café


This is an important day for Marc Chanois, an insurance advisor heading toward middle age: it's his fiancée Sabine's birthday, her parents arrive in Paris and Marc will meet them for dinner to announce the engagement (her father can't stand him), he's bought Sabine a Spitfire, and his most important client is to sign a policy. But, as the day wears on, he's vexed by an incompetent secretary, the unexpected return of a girlfriend he hasn't seen in five years, squatters who use his office at night, the jealous former lover of a flight attendant who lives in the building, and his boss's unexpected return from a Swiss clinic. Will he reach Sabine in one piece? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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screwball | satire | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

3 March 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Un día de mierda  »

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User Reviews

bad day (R.E.M.)
23 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

This Miguel Courtois' vehicle is overlooked when I check the mark: a more than lowly 5,0 out of 10. Why is it rated so low? What's the problem?

Already back in the spring 1999 when it reached the streets, it should have deserved a better commercial fate. Prior to this, the director Miguel Courtois cut his teeth on made-for-TV movies and generally the transition to the silver screen for a made-for-TV movies is a perilous task but Courtois doesn't seem to have known this. With this highly charged little comedy, he displays real skills in directing which are worth of a comedy virtuoso. The unities of place action and time (check the title) are virtually respected: a big, solemn building which in the space of nearly twenty-four hours will be the perfect backdrop for a series of various disasters which will shatter Marc Chanois (Richard Berry)'s day.

And however his day appears to start under auspicious skies. His pedantic timetable must occupy a momentum day around two vital events. The first one is of a professional order: an important tycoon, Zucker must sign a capital contract which would reinforce the stance of Chanois' firm (he's a Parisian insurance agent). The second one is of a private order and must take place the same evening: he must marry his fiancée Sabine and makes the acquaintance of his stepfather. Alas! From the outset a gallery of weirdos hangs around. Various subplots will intertwine with hilarious consequences but not for poor Chanois...

The film promises great things and will deliver them throughout unfortunate Marc's mishaps while easily filling its quota of laughter. All right, the tenet of a man who has a nightmarish day isn't of an astounding originality but the scenarists have signed a painstakingly built scenario with deftly well-organized sequences. The most delightful one will be perhaps the following one: see the moment when Zucker is about to sign the fundamental contract. Anne Brochet's blunders would be sufficient to justify the vision of the film. But we mustn't neglect the rest of the film. It is interspersed with droll gags, preposterous but noticeable gags which will play a significant role in Marc's slump.

Courtois makes adopt his camera an increasingly hectic pace as Marc's bad day passes by while keeping as much clarity as possible. He shows respect for the audience and hasn't forgotten that a film is a communicative link with the viewer. He pulls off with gusto to film poor Marc's trouble and their evolution with a stringent accuracy and the audience never loses the thread amid these unexpected events and disasters which poison Marc's day. One feels that Courtois shot this comic film in a rousing and perfectionist spirit.

One shouldn't pass over the topnotch cast the movie boasts. Their input in the disturbance of this mad day is total. The persona of each character fits them like a glove and fuels the communicative pleasure with the viewer. Anne Brochet, the freewheeling nymphomaniac lover who has a crush on Berry again. Gilbert Melki as a narrow-minded, violent virile macho man. Guilaine Londé as a not-so-clever secretary and of course Richard Berry as the edgy main character. He circumvents the traps a role like his could tend, notably the over-the-top acting. He nearly never gives in to wild mood swings and offers a stalwart acting fraught with self-control and softening anger. Only Sabine's father is a cardboard character but that's minor quibble.

Don't let the low rating fool you and make yourself a treat with this genteel, taut comedy which without Courtois' accuracy would have been a woolly hodgepodge.

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