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Inferior to Patrice Leconte's fine meditation on friendship 'Mon meilleur Ami', inferior as well to Michel Boujenah's first movie as a director 'Père et fils', '3 Amis' is - for all that- a pleasant comedy that will make you have a good time in a theater or later in front of your TV set or PC.
The cast (Mathilde Seigner, a little more collected than usual, Kad Merad, Pascal Elbé and Yves Rénier) is top notch. And the comedy is generally effective; the most hilarious sequences are about Baptist (Merad) becoming fanatical about cleanliness, his "chance meeting" with a call-girl as well as César (Elbé)'s innumerable blunders. And the appearance of Philippe Noiret in his last role is a plus. To see one of the greatest French actors ever in such poor health is heartbreaking but as soon as Noiret starts speaking you forget cancer and admire his legendary acting skills. In the rather brief role of a garage owner he displays subtle irony and perfect timing.
Too bad this film remains a bit superficial. Although the misadventures of these three friends are funny, I felt a bit dissatisfied at the end of the film. I would have liked a more thorough examination of the notion of friendship, the mysterious ties that bind individuals despite the hazards of everyday life, the way Patrice Leconte had done in 'Mon meilleur Ami'. In spite of this, '3 amis' illustrates fairly well the fact that friendship is not a linear process, that it has ups and downs ant that - just like love -it must be kept alive and re-invented to exist and to keep existing. A fair effort on the whole, but Michel Boujenah can no doubt do better.
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