|Index||4 reviews in total|
This debut by Dany Boon as director I liked in whole but not so as his next works "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" and "Rien à déclarer" and I find them the very best French comedies for lately. "La maison du bonheur" is very laughable movie but main characters sometimes looks too silly and even irritate particularly those situations with the stupid repairers. I liked Daniel Prévost and his character the estate agent Jean-Pierre Draquart is very funny and Michèle Laroque is very beautiful woman and remarkable actress. Actually this film in plot is very similar to old and nice film "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long but there was more catastrophic situation. "La maison du bonheur" is not a masterpiece but very not bad comedy for a one evening.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On the positive side Danny Boon has made a respectable fist of his first credit as writer-director whilst on the negative side he's not exactly saying anything new or telling us anything we don't already know. Carole Bouquet starred in something very similar just over a year ago and real buffs will also remember that Cary Grant was doing it sixty years ago in Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House. On the other hand there's probably still a little mileage in the idea of buying (Grant) and/or hiring a bunch of inept workman to renovate an existing home (Bouquet) but I have to confess I was surprised when Boon 'lifted' one gag intact from American Beauty. Boon made his name - one he may have also 'borrowed' from a character in Billy Liar - as a stand-up comedian before moving into films and in this year alone he's appeared in a straight role in Joyeux Noel and given comic support in La Doublure. Boon is clearly aware that visual comedy - which constitutes about 80 per cent of the film - is International and if we add to that the fact that half the audience will be able to empathize it should perform well at the box office. Michele Laroque doesn't have too much to do as the wife for whom the house is meant to be a surprise and Daniel Prevost as the shyster realtor who sticks Boon with the white elephant steals everything that isn't nailed down - and given the pair of clowns doing the renovating that's practically everything - albeit using the same mannerisms he brought to Diner du Cons. Mildly amusing and worth a look.
Dany Boon is a well-known humorist in my native France but I must admit
he's not one of my favorite humorists. My favorite one is definitely
Franck Dubosc. This film, "la Maison Du Bonheur" is his debut movie and
for the topic, he didn't complicate the issue. Basically, it was a play
he wrote himself and its popularity was wide enough to galvanize him to
transpose it to the silver screen. A delicate operation because when
one turns a play into a film, it is necessary to lighten the unities of
time, space partly to avoid stage film production. Dany Boon perfectly
overcame this obstacle. Throughout the film, the camera moves in
several places and the knowledge that the story was originally a play
is rapidly in limbo. But then, things go a little wrong...
The staple idea is classy and to tap it, Dany Boon set himself to a classical scheme. Hae acts a stingy creditor who for once decides to be generous by buying a country house near Paris. Unfortunately, many complications and vicious gears will plunge him in a downward spiral. When one discovers the film sequences in which concealed truth and two-bit lies reign in most of them, one figures that Dany Boon's film had a true potential for being a first-class French comedy. The problem lies in the fact that he didn't have enough verve and strength to make laughter last until the tail end. Laughter are too scattered here and there during the screening and it's a little regrettable because a good proportion of the sequences could have been exploited in a funnier way. That said, when I went to see the film in the theaters, at the end of the end credits, there was a sort of collection of out-takes and I laughed until I cried. Anyway, I don't want to demean Boon's piece of work because when he succeeds in tapping the comical reserve of a scene, it really works.
Dany Boon also hired a three-star cast whose input in the venture makes up a bit for the unfinished side of the comedy. Daniel Prévost is as jovial as disturbing and his character could be a distant cousin of Lucien Cheval, the tax inspector he acted in Francis Veber's exquisite "le Dîner De Cons" (1998). Michèle Laroque is a very subtle actress and Michel Vuillermoz "De la Comédie Française" makes his part count. Zinedine Soualem, one of the two lazy, incompetent workers and regularly featured in the Klapisch universe is irresistible. But there's one major problem and it's Dany Boon himself in the main role: he offers a rather wooden acting. He could have been so much better if he had been able to shade his role.
So, Dany Boon was within an ace of reaching the perfect comedy. He just lacked perseverance, audacity and so limited the treat to the audience. But it's not a reason to decry his film. So, don't pay attention to the current mark of the film on this site (a lowly 5.2 out of 10) and consider it as a palatable supplier of laughter. And the characters introduced in this film could be larger than life.
No bones about it, this really is a very very good comedy, if a little
breathless for the spectator ! It's one of those comedies that
accumulate catastrophe after catastrophe and you end up wondering how
on earth (or in heaven !) it's all going to work out in the end ! A
young man working in the litigation department of a credit company and
rather miserly in general to boot, decides to secretly buy a country
house for his wife and sell their present central Paris apartment, all
unbeknown to her and unfortunately falls upon a shyster estate agent
who manages to sell him a ruin and, to make things even worse,
furnishes a less-than-completent building team ( even worse than
O'Reilly in Fawlty Towers ) who manage to botch up just about every job
they undertake ! In addition, Boon's office co-worker is seeking to buy
the same house, unbeknown to him and the vile estate agent, played by
Daniel Prévost, is disgustingly playing one off against the other ! The
rest of the story I will leave for you to discover ! I originally went
to see the film because I am very fond of Michèle Laroque as an actress
( I had already noticed her in "Bébé Express" and her other works with
Pierre Palmade ) and to a certain extent Daniel Prévost, who had above
all stuck in my mind as the memorable tax inspector "Cheval" in "Le
Diner des Cons".
Dany Boon is apparently a stand up comedian and not noted for cinema, this being indeed his first work a a director ! Well I thoroughly enjoyed this film and the type of humour it distills. Many spectators will be able to relate to the problems of indebtedness, losing your job, keeping secrets from your wife, incompetent building workers, shyster estate agents ..... OK, in this story EVERYTHING seems to go wrong and it is a little exaggerated but individually, alas, these situations happen to people just a little too often, and indeed the film may at least provide comic relief to some viewers who will take a deep sigh and say "Phew, I thought my situation was bad enough, but this poor guy ...... ! Anyway there's not a dull moment in this film and I would thoroughly recommend it for anywone who's feeling down in the dumps ! Correct international distribution of the work should be able to ensure it worldwide success !
|Ratings||External reviews||Official site|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|