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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
The movie was on cable here in Israel and I thought it had potential -- clash of cultures, conflicting interests between the heirs and the staff, but it went absolutely nowhere. Too bad. It was a half-baked writing effort.
But coming from Canada and knowing how francophones who don't speak a lot of English react when bombarded by anglophones who think they do, I must rate Sylvie Testud's performance as a tour-de-force. She was clicking on the English words she might have been expected to catch, and straining at the rest, just as would happen in real life. This is not easy to achieve and she must be an actress of considerable skills. I would love to see her in a remake of Madame Bovary or something of that nature in English. This girl is as good as they come.
There was one very funny scene in my book so it wasn't a total loss, when the Rudd character reads the fractured French letter he wrote to the staff who could not understand a word of it, except the main one, vendre, causing an uproar.
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