Catherine, refuses to believe that her business partner, the unlikeable François, has a best friend, so she challenges him to set up an introduction. Scrambling to find someone willing to pose as his best pal, François enlists the services of a charming taxi driver to play the part.
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François is a middle-aged antique dealer. He has a stylish apartment and a fabulous life, but at a dinner with a group he considers his dearest acquaintances, he is blindsided by the revelation that none of them actually likes him. He's arrogant, self-centered and harsh, and they don't believe he knows the meaning of friendship. His business partner Catherine makes him a bet: if he can produce his best friend, she will let him keep the massive Greek vase he acquired that afternoon on the company tab. If not, it's hers. Having accepted the wager, François naively tears through his address book, trying to shoehorn an increasingly unlikely series of contacts into the all-important role. Moving through Paris, he keeps encountering a trivia-spouting, big-hearted cabbie named Bruno. Bruno's chatty, lowbrow ways grate against François's designer temperament, but he covets the other man's easy way with people. He convinces Bruno to teach him how to make friends and sets about learning the "... Written by
My Best Friend isn't Patrice Leconte's best and it's probably not as funny as it could be, but it's so amiable that it really doesn't matter. It's a redemption comedy, with Daniel Auteuil's antique dealer so disinterested in the people around him that he doesn't even know that his business partner is a lesbian and is amazed to find that he has no friends, merely contacts. Challenged to present his mythical best friend by the end of the month or lose a valuable vase, he sets about an increasingly desperate search that takes in strangers in the street and even a former classmate to all-too predictable results before hiring Danny Boon's personable cabdriver to show him how to make friends, oblivious to the fact that Boon doesn't seem to have any friends either. No prizes for guessing how it all works out, but it's nicely played, with Auteuil's grimly smiling desperation offset nicely by Boon's sheer sad sack likability. The Who Wants To Be a Millionaire climax is somewhat drawn out, but it's hard to dislike a film that uses one characters obsession with quiz show trivia to name check Georges Simenon, Jean Renoir and both versions of The Man Who Knew too Much.
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