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When two American brothers, Graham and Allen Granville, learn that they have inherited a chateau in France, they cannot believe their luck. However, when they arrive, the brothers find themselves completely ill-equipped to communicate with the chateau's staff (even with the help of a pocket dictionary). With no hope of paying off the chateau's enormous debt, the pair are forced to sell the chateau, leaving a bewildered staff resorting to desperate and hilarious measures to keep their home. Through a series of comedic misunderstandings, the film's stars not only uncover they're not as distant from the staff as they might think, they also discover something about the importance of family. Written by
Uneven, yet interesting, study of intercultural conflicts
This film centers around the story of two brothers (one white, one black - turns out he was adopted) go to France to claim their château which they inherited from their French uncle whom they have never met. What follows is a series of interactions between the French and Americans, where language barriers play a vital role. Though a comedy, it's not too funny, most of the time. It's even rather simple, as the love sub-plot is not too interesting, and too many laughs have to do with misusing French by the wonderful Paul Rudd (when will he get his big break, eh?) and some laughs that have to do with his black brother and his "jive talk". Shot in what seems to be DV, the look of the film is quite uneven, going from natural landscape look that looks like film to grainy night scenes that look like 8 mm. I am also not at all sure that the sound mix was done in DTS, as the current details state in IMDB. It was hardly the 2.0 and there is no need for more than that. The movie is quite talkie, but as such, does not really analyze the French attitude of the Americans. It is in the end a comedy about how the French are viewed by the Americans, not so much what the French really think of their ill-mannered new owners. Both sides are ludicrous and rude, the Americans with their superficial understanding of land and tradition, and the French with their inefficient way of doing business and their complete distrust of anything not French. While the movie was amusing, it lacks the serious discussion of clashing cultures and national protection of traditions and assets in a multi-cultural capitalist world, and issue we have seen many films about coming from Europe in recent years.
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