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Bobbing for Bob.
Like father,like son? not really,for talented Pierre Granier Deferre's son,Denys opts for the heavy-handed French comedy ;after "Que Les Gros Salaires Lèvent Le Doigt" (=let people with high income put up their finger) ,"Réveillon Chez Bob" (=Christmas eve's dinner at Bob's place)is not an improvement ;it will be 2010 before Denys Granier-Deferre makes a memorable effort, "Pièce Montée ",influenced by Altman's "a wedding" .
A young boy wants his father (Jean Rochefort) back ;this comics writer is always away from him and estranged from his attractive wife (Mireille Darc);so he imagines a stratagem :he writes his dad a letter in which he tells him that his mom's new lover,Bob , beats him,mistreats him ;in fact Bob is neither the mother's lover ,nor a child-batterer,but is none other than the family doctor.Thus,all along the Christmas night,when everybody has a wild time , daddy goes in search of the mysterious Bob ,who plays the role of what the French call "L'Arlésienne" ,a person who ,although much talked about , never materializes.
The movie begins quite well, with daddy , "helped" by a couple (a garage owner and his accountant: Guy Bedos and Agnès Soral ),searching his enemy in a sea of windows in a giant residential complex ;then the first party they spoil and turn into a free -for -fall.
Then the plot peters out :it becomes repetitive ,the good gags are few and far between, the actors begin to ham it up to enliven things a bit ,they meet Italians ,black people singing such classics as "only you" ,Pieds Noirs ,they walk through a sewer ;when they open the manhole , dad is confronted with his distraught wife who has lost their little boy.
In spite of talents involved, it's nothing more than a very average heavy-handed comedy of which the French have the secret.Even the kid is annoying ,his words are sometimes too recherché for his age ("incontrôlable ").
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